SLC Economic Development, Transportation & Cultural Affairs Committee
The topics explored by the Economic Development, Transportation & Cultural Affairs Committee include a number of critical issues relevant to the progress and advancement of the Southern region. As the Southern states continue to diversify their economies, the Committee has studied a number of issues to further its understanding of this diversification process. In addition, the Committee has focused on exploring the role of the arts as a catalyst for economic growth and the fact that a thriving cultural scenario is an important consideration in the relocation and expansion plans of corporations. Such issues as federal transportation plans and their implications for Southern states; competition among states to attract economic investment; attracting and retaining high-tech investment; promoting Southern state exports; high speed rail in the South; promoting biotechnology are recurring topics.
Issue Brief | January 29, 2018
The retail industry, historically one of the largest and most important drivers of economic growth in the United States, is being challenged by technological advances and shifting consumer habits that are undermining sustained growth across much of the industry. The popularity of online retail — most prominently exemplified by the rise and dominance of Amazon and similar online shopping platforms — coupled with growing preferences for discounted shopping and experiences instead of material purchases, have profound implications for an industry that employs millions of people across the nation. According to many financial experts, the industry is confronting a so-called “retail apocalypse,” characterized by depressed profits, store closures and, in several instances, bankruptcy among some of the nation’s largest, most recognizable retailers.
Given such perceived disruptions to a pillar of the national economy, it is instructive to understand the role of retail in each state’s economic landscape and the extent to which the industry’s difficulties have impacted states’ workforces in recent years. This SLC Issue Brief reviews Occupational Employment Statistics from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, for three prominent retail occupations — cashiers, retail salespersons and retail supervisors — to determine how employment in these areas has evolved since 2012. Several states in the South have maintained solid growth in these occupations, in some cases surpassing the national average by wide margins, despite the many challenges confronting the industry. However, such growth likely cannot be sustained due to the ongoing and accelerating shift to online commerce.
SLC Special Series Report | January 8, 2018
Remarkably, without much fanfare, the nation’s wind energy sector continues to grow, a testimony to both advances in technology and deliberate measures by policymakers to create an environment to stimulate the development of this power source. At the close of 2016, installed wind capacity in the United States exceeded 82,000 megawatts (MW), surpassing hydropower for the first time in the nation’s history. In total, installed wind energy capacity grew by 8,203 MW over the previous year and now generates about 5.5 percent of the country’s electricity, enough to power 24 million homes.
Given this burgeoning sector’s ability to create jobs and provide additional energy security and independence in the United States, the often asked question regarding the viability of utility-scale wind power development depends on several factors, including quality of the available wind resources, regional market prices for electrical power, transmission capacity and accessibility, and state-specific policies. While these factors are crucial to the successful development of wind power, states with limited wind resources may benefit from expanded utilization of this renewable resource. This SLC Special Series Report, the second in a series exploring the myriad impacts of wind energy expansion in the Southern region, examines the development of the industry in Texas, Oklahoma and Virginia. Specifically, this report explores the resources, capacity and transmission; policies and incentives; and economic impacts of wind energy generation in these states, thus demonstrating the opportunities available.
SLC Special Series Report | May 1, 2017
The nation's energy sector is undergoing substantial changes, as political and economic factors converge to encourage diversification in generation. Aided by state and federal tax credits, renewable energy generation technologies are experiencing unprecedented growth as production costs decline and implementation increases.
As the renewable energy sector continues to grow, concerns that such expansions could lead to widespread job losses in traditional energy sectors, such as coal, have proliferated. Southern states are rich in traditional energy resources; thus, many state economies have long depended on these resources. Because of the importance of these industries to the region, both in terms of economic development and employment opportunities, legislators often are faced with balancing business interests with the need for environmental protection and conservation.
This SLC Special Series Report, the first in a series exploring the myriad impacts of wind energy expansion on SLC states, examines the benefits of wind energy in the Southern region. Forthcoming reports present case studies from three SLC states, examine SLC states' capacity for wind energy generation and utilization, analyze state incentives, and explore the challenges of wind energy generation in the region.
More SLC Research into Economic Development
Policy Analysis | January 29, 2016
SLC Regional Resource | July 1, 2015
Policy Analysis | March 13, 2015
Policy Analysis | March 6, 2015
Webinar | December 16, 2014
Policy Analysis | November 4, 2014
Policy Analysis | October 6, 2014
Webinar | July 10, 2014
Presentation | May 13, 2014
SLC Regional Resource | February 27, 2014
SLC Regional Resource | November 19, 2013
SLC Regional Resource | July 11, 2013
Issue Alert | May 9, 2013
Issue Alert | October 24, 2012
Presentation | October 5, 2012
Issue Alert | September 18, 2012
Policy Analysis | October 31, 2011
SLC Special Series Report | August 1, 2011
Fiscal Alert | October 1, 2010
Policy Analysis | August 1, 2010
SLC Regional Resource | June 1, 2010
Article | May 1, 2009
Presentation | February 21, 2009
Article | December 1, 2008
Article | August 1, 2008
Presentation | September 2, 2007
Article | August 1, 2007
SLC Regional Resource | June 1, 2007
Presentation | November 20, 2006
SLC Special Series Report | April 1, 2006
Presentation | August 16, 2005
SLC Regional Resource | August 1, 2005
SLC Regional Resource | May 1, 2004
SLC Special Series Report | November 1, 2003
SLC Regional Resource | July 1, 2001
SLC Special Series Report | November 1, 2000