The Great Recession hit small towns hard. Many saw factories close and jobs dry up. But according to a new analysis, small-town America is actually experiencing an economic revival thanks to an oil and gas boom. According to government data analyzed by USA Today, inflation-adjusted income has increased 3.8% per person between 2007 and 2011 for the roughly 50 million Americans who live in small cities, towns, and rural areas. Compare that to almost the same percentage drop (3.5%) in metropolitan areas, and a shift in wealth begins to emerge, one flowing from cities to rural regions.
Kansas City Southern (KSU) reported financial results for the first quarter of its 2014 fiscal year (1QFY14) after the bell yesterday. The rail operator beat expectations on both earnings and revenues as the company posted record volumes in the first three months of the year. Management provided good guidance for the year.
Stories dot the media describing shale development as booms that have transformed the economies of North Dakota and Pennsylvania. That broad portrait gets badly wrong the impacts of shale development on the economies of the two states. Simply put, Pennsylvania is not North Dakota. North Dakota has a population of 699,628, while Pennsylvania's is 12,763,536 or about 18 times larger. quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/38000.html and quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/42000.html.
1. REUTERS -- "Oil output from shale prospects in unconventional sources from North Dakota to Texas could reach 1.5 million to 2 million barrels-per-day (bpd) in the coming five to seven years, twice as much as the 700,000 bpd currently produced in these places."
Guest blog post by Matt Erskine, Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic DevelopmentOver the last three and a half years, President Obama has been committed to investing in efforts that strengthen rural economies, create jobs, support business growth, and expand opportunity for rural Americans.Today, the administration announced the 13 winners of a key component of this goal, the Rural Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge. Economic development partnerships and initiatives in Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Hampshire, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia will receive awards ranging from nearly $200,000 to more than $1 million. The projects will promote job creation, accelerate innovation, and provide assistance to entrepreneurs and businesses in a wide range of industrial sectors, including advanced manufacturing, agribusiness, energy and natural resources, technology, and tourism. They range from the Bristol Bay Jobs Accelerator in Alaska, a job training initiative put together by a consortium of 31 Alaskan tribes that will support a fisheries and seafood processing industry cluster; to the I-20 Corridor Regional Accelerator, a project involving the collaboration of institutions in Louisiana and Arkansas to promote science and technology clusters in these states; to the “Project 17: Together We Stand,” a 17-county business development effort led by Kansas State University.
A 90-car train carrying crude oil derailed and exploded in a rural area of western Alabama early on Friday, leaving 11 cars burning and potentially bolstering the push for tougher regulation of a boom in moving oil by rail.
The oil boom in North Dakota and Montana has brought a flood of people to once sparsely-populated rural towns. The rapid pace of expansion in the town of Williston, North Dakota is putting pressure on all kinds of local services -- from fire and emergency response to road construction and utilities. The increased number of students in the public school system in Williston is crowding its now outdated facilities.
Through oil boom and bust, and now boom again, John Monger says life’s...