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Studies/Research/Papers

2018 Top States for Doing Business: Georgia Ranks #1 Fifth Year in a Row

Geraldine Gambale, Editor, Area Development Magazine and Steve Kaelble, Staff Editor, Area Development (Q3 2018)

Competitive labor environments and leading workforce development programs, low taxes and utility costs, favorable regulatory environments, and cooperative state governments are among the top-ranked states’ pro-business attributes. More

2018 Leading Metro Locations: Pacific and Mountain Metros Dominate the List

Area Development Research Desk and Karen Thuermer, Staff Editor, Area Development (Q2 2018)

The 2018 Leading Metro Locations reflect the nation’s overall economic growth as the country enjoys the second-longest economic expansion on record, with many small and mid-size metros exhibiting economic strength. More

2018 Gold & Silver Shovel Awards Recognize States’ Efforts to Attract High-Value Investment & Large Job-Creating Projects

Geraldine Gambale, Editor, Area Development Magazine and Steve Kaelble, Staff Editor, Area Development (Q2 2018)

More than 200 projects across multiple states brought with them the promise -- in total -- of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in investment. More

32nd Annual Corporate Survey & the 14th Annual Consultants Survey

Geraldine Gambale, Editor, Area Development Magazine (Q1 2018)

Although the U.S. economy is strong, there may still be some hesitancy in investment decisions brought about by an uncertain legislative environment. More

2017 Top States for Doing Business: Georgia Ranks #1 Fourth Year in a Row

Mark Crawford, Staff Editor, Area Development (Q3 2017)

The top-ranked states have committed to adding value as economic development leaders and problem-solvers, characteristics that are recognized by consultants to industry. More

Leading Locations for 2017: West Coast "Tech" Cities Top List, Smaller MSA's Show Workforce Chops

Area Development Research Desk and Mark Crawford, Staff Editor, Area Development (Q2 2017)

It’s not surprising to see larger MSAs at the top of the list due to their economic diversity and advantages of scale. But, mid-size and small cities built upon clusters that are in high demand, and where a prime workforce exists, can also be economic powerhouses. More

2017 Gold & Silver Shovel Awards Recognize States Compiling Healthy Rosters of New and Expanded Facilities

Geraldine Gambale, Editor, Area Development Magazine and Steve Kaelble, Staff Editor, Area Development (Q2 2017)

The work of economic development is a complicated mix of salesmanship, customer service, technical and legal expertise, communications, relationship-building, and a healthy dose of good fortune. More

31st Annual Survey of Corporate Executives: Confidence in U.S. Economy, Need for Investment in Infrastructure Reflected

Geraldine Gambale, Editor, Area Development Magazine (Q1 2017)

The Corporate Survey respondents feel confident about the economy under President Trump, but highway accessibility and skilled labor are still their primary concerns. More

13th Annual Consultants Survey: Confidence in U.S. Economy, Concern Over Proposed Trump Policies

Geraldine Gambale, Editor, Area Development Magazine (Q1 2017)

The responding consultants are confident that economic conditions under the Trump administration will be favorable to their clients moving ahead with new facilities plans, but also believe potential penalties for moving offshore will affect those plans. In fact, nearly two thirds believe there will be financial inducements to reshore operations. And 100 percent say finding skilled labor is the number-one priority. More

Automation Takes Hold, But Humans Still Needed

Geraldine Gambale, Editor, Area Development Magazine (Q1 2017)

According to a new report from the McKinsey Global Institute, as well others in the field of robotics, automation will eliminate some jobs but also help to create new ones. More

Industrial Manufacturers’ Optimism Reflected in Expectations of Higher Revenue Growth, Increased Capital Spending

Geraldine Gambale, Editor, Area Development Magazine (Q1 2017)

PwC’s Q4/2016 Manufacturing Barometer reveals increased optimism about the U.S. economy. The senior executives of U.S.-based industrial manufacturing companies surveyed expect revenues to increase, and they are also increasing their capital spending plans. More

In Focus: Has the Moment for Infrastructure Revival Arrived?

Walter Kemmsies, Ph.D., Managing Director, Economist and Chief Strategist, U.S. Ports, Airports and Global Infrastructure Group, JLL (Directory 2017)

The United States has indisputably underfunded infrastructure spending for the past several decades, and the lack of investment has been cited as a key constraint to doing business domestically. If Congress aligns with the White House in support of greater infrastructure funding, many states and cities stand to benefit. More

Where Should Aerospace Companies Invest? Evaluating Aerospace Manufacturing Hubs

Scott Thompson, U.S. Aerospace & Defense Assurance Leader, PwC (Q3 2016)

For executives considering where to build a future plant or R&D facility, the United States ranks first globally for the scope and size of its aerospace manufacturing sector. In terms of the state rankings, Arizona jumped to first place, which bumped Florida down to second. More

2016 Top States for Doing Business: Georgia Back in Top Spot Again

Steve Kaelble, Staff Editor, Area Development (Q3 2016)

There are many factors that go into being a “top state for business” — from labor and real estate costs to the tax and regulatory environment to workforce development programs and more; the states that made the 2016 Top States for Doing Business list scored high in each category. More

Regional Talent Attraction Study Results: It’s Not All About Core Cities

Joshua Wright, VP, Economic and Workforce Development, Emsi (Q3 2016)

As many regions have become equally or more concerned with supporting existing companies than with recruiting new businesses, attracting and retaining talent has become a focal point. Which counties are standing out with high net migration and skilled job growth? More

U.S. Manufacturers Attempting to Upskill Their Workforces

Geraldine Gambale, Editor, Area Development Magazine (Q3 2016)

As manufacturers rapidly adopt new technologies, they are increasingly faced with the problem of hiring and/or training workers who can help them to exploit these technologies. PwC’s latest survey explores this issue. More

Developing Loyalty Among a Millennial Workforce

Geraldine Gambale, Editor, Area Development Magazine (Q2 2016)

A recent survey by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu of millennials reveals that many are planning near-term exits from their current employer organization due to a number of factors. How can this trend be reversed? More

2016 Gold & Silver Shovel Awards Recognize States That Have Garnered High-Impact Economic Development Projects

Geraldine Gambale, Editor, Area Development Magazine and Mark Crawford, Staff Editor, Area Development (Q2 2016)

The states receiving this year’s Shovel Awards are being recognized for their large numbers of high-impact economic development projects, including $1 billion+ deals with thousands of new jobs. Six states — California, Ohio, Tennessee, South Carolina, Nevada and Utah — are being awarded Gold Shovels in recognition of projects undertaken in 2015. More

Technological Innovation Essential to U.S. Manufacturing Growth

Geraldine Gambale, Editor, Area Development Magazine (Q2 2016)

It’s no surprise that PwC’s 2016 Industrial Manufacturing Trends report finds that investments in technology are “essential” for the growth of the U.S. manufacturing sector. More

Which Countries Have Lowest Business Costs?

Geraldine Gambale, Editor, Area Development Magazine (Q2 2016)

According to the 2016 Competitive Alternatives report from KPMG, the United States has dropped to 10th place for lowest business costs — the only time the U.S. has ever placed this low in Competitive Alternatives rankings. More

Ideas for Industry Innovation Ecosystems Put Into Play

Craig Giffi, Vice Chairman, U.S. Automotive Leader, Deloitte LLP and Michelle Drew Rodriguez, Manufacturing Leader, Center for Industry Insights, Deloitte Services LP (Q2 2016)

Innovation ecosystems and advanced technologies are unlocking opportunities for manufacturers, while advancing national prosperity. More

12th Annual Consultants Survey: Clients’ Robust New Facility/Expansion Plans Revealed

Geraldine Gambale, Editor, Area Development Magazine (Q1 2016)

Two thirds of the consultants believe the economy is on a continuous growth track, and nearly all are busy helping clients with new facility and expansion plans. The primary recipient of these new facilities will be the Southern states. More

30th Annual Survey of Corporate Executives: Cautious Optimism Reflected

Geraldine Gambale, Editor, Area Development Magazine (Q1 2016)

New facility and expansion plans are up slightly on a year-over-year basis, although finding skilled labor is once again top of mind. Nearly half the respondents believe the U.S. economy is on a continuous growth track. More

Use of Wind, Solar to Generate Electricity Could Add Millions of Jobs

Geraldine Gambale, Editor, Area Development Magazine (Q1 2016)

According to a recent report from the Virginia-based consulting firm ICF International, a large-scale shift to renewable sources for generating electricity could increase U.S. employment by one million jobs by 2030 and two million jobs by 2050, even after accounting for job losses related to fossil fuels. More

Corporate Real Estate's Battle for Tech Talent

Area Development Research Desk (Directory 2016)

Powerful data and analytics platforms offer powerful opportunities to mine business intelligence from corporate real estate (CRE) data. Yet, to make it all work, you've got to have the tech talent to build, populate and optimize those platforms. With the lure of smarter CRE portfolio management, better energy efficiency, and more productive employees, CRE leaders are actively recruiting data scientists who can fire up data-informed decision-making. More

North American Seaport Outlook: Potential Shift in Ports of Call

Area Development Research Desk (Q3 2015)

JLL’s research reveals that, although the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles will remain the primary U.S. gateways, Gulf and Eastern Seaboard ports are anticipated to capture even more West Coast discretionary cargo when the new Panama Canal opens next year. More

Top Airport Locations for Real Estate Investors

Area Development Research Desk (Q2 2015)

JLL’s Index evaluates airports based on criteria such as availability of industrial and warehousing space, access to large population centers, and air cargo growth prospects. This year’s highest ranked airport is Chicago O’Hare (ORD) with a score of 144.6, followed by Miami (MIA) at 120.9 and Los Angeles (LAX) with a 117.2. More

Leading Locations for 2015: Creating a Track Record of Economic Success, Denver-Aurora-Broomfield Ranks First

Area Development Special Presentation (Q2 2015)

Area Development analyzed economic and workforce data for 373 MSAs to determine which U.S. cities are creating jobs and nurturing sustainable economic development. The results of the Leading Locations 2015 study clearly reflect the strength of the western half of the United States: eight of the top-10 MSAs are in the West — three in Colorado, two in California, two in Texas, and one in Washington State. More

How the Location Decision Affects LEED Certification

Geraldine Gambale, Editor, Area Development Magazine (Q2 2015)

Corporate site selectors, economic developers, real estate professionals, and regulators need to understand the relationship between environmental sustainability and industrial location decisions. More

11th Annual Consultants Survey: Consultants’ Exhibit Confidence and Increasing Project Activity

Area Development Special Presentation (Q1 2015)

The majority of those responding to the Consultants Survey feel the economy is already on a continuous growth track, which is reflected in the new facility and expansion plans of their clients. More

29th Annual Survey of Corporate Executives: A Realignment of Location Priorities

Area Development Special Presentation (Q1 2015)

The location and expansion plans of our Corporate Survey respondents are not as robust as we had hoped, and their site selection priorities have been realigned, with facilities costs supplanting labor considerations. More

Shale Gas Revitalizing U.S. Manufacturing Industry…While Environmentalists Have Their Say

Geraldine Gambale, Editor, Area Development Magazine (Directory 2015)

Although some states are rolling back or banning fracking due to potential environmental impact, overall, U.S. shale gas development and production is surging and helping to trigger a resurgence in manufacturing. More

Advanced Robotics Revolutionizing the Manufacturing and Construction Industries

Geraldine Gambale, Editor, Area Development Magazine (Q4 2014)

Once used primarily in the automotive industry, advanced robotics now permeate varied industrial sectors, with their reach even extending to building construction. More

Positive Outlook for Middle Market Manufacturing Execs

Karen L. Kurek , Partner - National Industrial Products Practice Leader, McGladrey LLP (Q3 2014)

Amid growing optimism, the manufacturing sector plans to add jobs over the next 12 months. Small and mid-size manufacturing and distribution companies expect solid growth over the next 12 months — and two-thirds plan to add jobs during that period. In fact, these growing companies expect to increase their workforces by 6 percent, up from 4 percent in 2013. More

Manufacturers Losing Intellectual Property to Security Breaches

Geraldine Gambale, Editor, Area Development Magazine (Q3 2014)

Although manufacturers understand the importance of securing their intellectual property, few have adequate procedures in place to keep pace with today’s escalating risks. More

Domestic Oil Production Spurs Regional and Manufacturing Industry Renaissance

Bruce Rutherford, International Director, Global Energy Practice Leader, JLL (Q3 2014)

Today's thriving domestic energy industry is stimulating local economies across the map, from major cities like Denver and Houston, to small towns at the epicenter of shale plays like Williston, North Dakota. More

STEM Talent Needed to Employ Additive Manufacturing Technologies and Advance Innovation

Geraldine Gambale, Editor, Area Development Magazine (Q3 2014)

According to a PwC study, additive manufacturing or 3DP is becoming mainstream; it has the potential to add to the nation’s global competitiveness, but challenges — including finding those with the skills to employ these new technologies — must also be addressed. More

The Regional Impact of Quality of Life on Entrepreneurial Decisions

Dan White, Senior Economist, Moody's Analytics and Douglas Wynne, Associate Economist, Moody's Analytics (Q2 2014)

One of the most often cited reasons for the location of a new business is quality of life, yet it is one of the areas policymakers most often overlook. More

Leading Locations for 2014: U.S. Metros Ranked for Economic and Job Growth

Dale D. Buss, Staff Editor, Area Development (Q2 2014)

Area Development analyzes economic and workforce data for 379 MSAs, producing a snapshot of the cities across America that are poised to capitalize on the new potential for economic growth as the United States leaves the recession behind. A diversified economic base tops the most desirable traits. More

Top Performing Airports in 2014 for Air Cargo and Industrial RE

Area Development Research Desk (Q2 2014)

Airports are increasingly focused on leveraging nearby commercial real estate assets and logistics corridors to position themselves as an essential link in the supply chain. In fact, some airports are now seeing more than 60 percent of their revenue derived from non-airline sources. More