Monday news roundup

October 22, 2007 by Emsi Burning Glass

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The Tax Foundation has released its “2008 State Business Tax Climate Index.” While tax environment is a useful economic indicator and an important aspect of business site selection, it is important to remember that other factors like infrastructure, workforce, presence of post-secondary educational institutions, and overall quality of life can easily outweigh it.

At the recent Wyoming Economic Development Association (WEDA) conference, Albuquerque economic development director Mike Lauter gave the attendees a grim picture of the future labor market–grim for businesses, that is. According to Lauter, next year the total demand for labor in the U.S. will exceed the total supply, and the gap will continue to widen in the foreseeable future. (Lauter’s specific data and methodology are unfortunately not provided in the article.)

In Nashville, the economic and fiscal impact of the local NHL franchise is at the heart of a controversy over local government incentive deals. The debate seems relevant for any city evaluating the economic benefits of pro sports.

Florida leads the nation in the total number of Associate’s degrees granted, producing 44,994 graduates in 2005-06 to take four of the top five spots. Health care related programs seem to be partially responsible for the large output.

The Washington Monthly has released their list of America’s Best Community Colleges, which is based on colleges’ use of proven, effective teaching methods and their success at graduating students (many of whom face economic and social barriers to success).