Analysis Roundup – April 5, 2013

Where do we begin…

FY2014 State-Shared Revenue Forecast

Karl Knapp at NCLM released his annual forecast report for municipal governments last week. Click here to access the report link we setup on the NCLGBA website.

Click here for the latest guidance from NCACC (for Counties)

Shameless NCLGBA Summer Conference Info

Click Here to Check Out our Promotional Email

Click Here to Learn More About our Featured Speakers

Click Here for the Registration Packet

Job Announcements – Just Added to Career Gateway

Business Services Manager – Charmeck Police (Closes 4/16)

Library Finance Director – Mecklenburg County (Closes 4/18)

Business Manager/Controller – Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities (Closes 4/21)

Legislative Update

The General Assembly is moving forward with tax reform. Karl Knapp and other members of the NC League of Municipalities Staff have been hard at work assessing the impact proposed changes to state tax law will have on revenues shared and/or allocated to local governments.

Click Here for Summary of Wednesday’s Senate Finance Committee Work

Click Here for This Week’s NCLM Bulletin

Don’t Forget UI

The Governor has already signed off on reform of the Unemployment Insurance program that will create significant changes for the appropriate of local government funding of their UI obligations in FY 2014.

Check out the tutorial video embedded below, or click here to see our original post on the subject.

NC Economic Update

Mike Walden’s NC Index of Leading Economic Indicators showed no change in February, the second straight months conditions kept status quo in the aggregate.

As usual, there was a mix of gains and losses among the Index’s components. Showing improvement was a big drop in initial jobless claims and a modest increase in manufacturing hours. These were countered by drops in building permits and manufacturing earnings. The national leading index was also unchanged. Similar to January’s Index, February’s result points to continued gains in the state’s economy at the pace seen in recent months.

National Economic Reports (from Wells Fargo Economics Group)

On today’s unemployment/employment numbers…

Nonfarm employment increased by 88,000 jobs in March and averaged 168,000 over the past three months. Both January and February job gains were revised up by a net 61,000, and March’s number could be revised up later as well. The private sector continues to be the driver of job growth, averaging 171,000 job gains over the past three months. Gains were evident across most key sectors including construction and business services. However, manufacturing employment was disappointing with a decline of 3,000, while retail trade employment fell by 24,000 on the heels of sharp declines in employment at building materials and clothing stores. The bottom line is that from an employment perspective growth continues, but the recent pace does not appear to be sustainable for the entire year. We expect that the strength in the first quarter GDP release will not be repeated the rest of 2013…the unemployment rate (for March) fell to 7.6 percent as the labor force participation rate fell to 63.3 percent—the lowest level since May 1979…the growth in average hourly earnings has slowed again, contrary to recent trends, and weakens the case for better consumer spending…income gains continue to disappoint and reinforce the message of sluggish consumer spending ahead…there is more structural unemployment than many analysts and policymakers have suggested. The unemployment rate for workers without a high school diploma is 11.1 percent and 15.8 percent for construction and extraction workers.

On this week’s report of significant rise in auto sales…

The steady pace of improvement can be attributed to several economic factors, but primarily changing credit conditions, along with an aging car fleet, have helped to drive auto sales higher…Experian Automotive also reported that the average loan term for new vehicles rose to a new high of 65 months in the fourth quarter of 2012. The higher loan terms along with the current low interest rate environment has increased consumer accessibility as average monthly loan payments have declined. Experian also reported that average credit scores for both new and used vehicles dropped in the last quarter of 2012. The fall in average credit scores provides one indication of loosening credit standards… The average age of vehicles on the road climbed to 11 years in 2012 indicating that replacement demand has played some role in boosting auto sales, a trend we expect to continue in the months ahead. At the same time, the increase in the average age of vehicles on the road is good news to auto repair shops, which are typically small businesses… This year we expect light vehicle sales to reach a 15.5 million-unit pace after the 14.4 million-unit pace observed last year. We expect retail sales over the next few months will continue to reflect the strength in the auto and parts dealer sales. The robust pace of auto sales should help to support consumer spending in the 2 percent range this year.

Check out Wells Fargo’s special report on an alternative approach to measuring State-level economic performance.

Geek Moments

If your the kind of person who enjoys debates on general economic theory, check out this debate from last month featuring UNC School of Government Economist, Dr. Karl Smith, intellectually battling Dr. Yaron Brook, Executive Director of the Ayn Rand Institute.

Click Here for the Footage

This past Tuesday, in another event of interest to economic afficianados, Richmond Fed District President Jeffrey Lacker spoke alongside Chicago Fed District President Charles Evans. Their viewpoints reflect polar opposite views on current Federal Reserve monetary policy, especially with respect to the current and ongoing phase of quantitative easing and the establishment of a formal benchmark for gauging policy achievement with regard to “full employment.” A synopsis of the debate will be shared next week, but you can check out the video of the event from Richmond below.

Click here to download slide presentations

SECoPA 2013 in Charlotte – Call for Proposals Deadline May 15th

The Southeastern Conference for Public Administration (SECoPA) will be hosted in Charlotte at the City Center Marriott, September 25th to 28th.

This interdisciplinary conference will explore a wide array of public and nonprofit sector issues from a variety of perspectives.  We encourage academics, practitioners, and students to submit proposals.

The 2013 conference theme of “Fueled by the Past, Racing towards a Brighter Future in Public Service” recognizes the importance of past practices and experiences as well as new ideas and innovations in addressing the current challenges of public service delivery.  This theme is also meant to reflect the importance of the relationship between academics and practitioners, a distinguishing feature of public administration and SECoPA.  Program tracks and research areas of interest include:

  • Local Government Performance Management
  • Nonprofit Leadership and Management
  • Economic Policy
  • Disasters/Hazards/Emergency Management
  • Environmental Policy and Management
  • Ethics
  • Finance and Budgeting
  • Health Administration and Policy
  • Human Resource Management
  • International and Comparative Public Administration
  • Performance Management
  • Policy, Planning and Program Evaluation
  • Public Management and Organization Theory
  • Social Welfare Policy
  • Criminal Justice Administration
  • Planning and Policy
  • Comparative Public Administration

For those interested in submitting an academic paper, please provide (by email attachment) a one page abstract that includes paper title, research question, summaries of theory, data, method, preliminary findings (if any) and importance or implications of the work.

For practitioners who want to submit a professional presentation or panel without a formal paper, please give a presentation/panel title, suggested track (from bullet list above), institutional affiliation, 1 page description of the content of the presentation, what people will learn or be able to do when they leave the session and some indication of presentation length (typical presentations should be 10-20 minutes, typical panels consist of multiple presentations over 60-80 minutes).

All proposals must be submitted no later than May 15, 2013 by email to SECoPA2013@uncc.edu.

If you would like assistance in developing a proposal, contact Kenneth Hunter by email to kenneth.hunter@rockymountnc.gov.

For more information above the program, contact Bradley E Wright, program co-chair, at bwright32@gsu.edu or 404.413.0109.

For more information about the conference in general, contact the conference co-chair Sarah Poulton (spoulton@charlottenc.gov) or Phin Xaypangna (phin.xaypangna@mecklenburgcountync.gov) or visit www.aspaonline.org/secopa

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