Newly proposed rules to cut carbon dioxide emissions would effectively stop the building of most new coal-fired plants and curb coal markets, the latter being a significant impact to Montana and the prospects for developing the state's vast coal reserves.
The Obama Administration proposed the new rules last week, promising to spark considerable controversy in an election year.
The cost of Thanksgiving Dinner is going to cost more this year – 13 percent more, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation. The average cost of a traditional dinner for 10 is averaged at $49.20 — $5.73 more than last year. Impacting the cost the most is the cost of the turkey itself – up 25 cents a pound over a year ago. A 16-pound turkey—is $21.57 this year, or about $1.35 per pound.
Even with the increase, the meal "remains a bargain, at just under $5 per person," said the AFBF President Bob Stallman, a rice and cattle producer from Texas. "The quality and variety of food produced for our dinner tables on America's diverse farms and ranches sets us apart from our contemporaries around the world. It is an honor for our farm and ranch families to produce the food from our nation's land for family Thanksgiving celebrations."
The AFBF survey shopping list includes turkey, bread stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a relish tray, coffee and milk,sufficient to serve a family of 10.
Construction employment declined in 146 out of 337 metropolitan areas between November 2010 and November 2011, increased in 131 and stayed level in 60, according to a new analysis of federal employment data released by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials noted that construction employment is likely to continue declining in many areas because of a planned 6.2 percent cut in federal investments in construction and infrastructure for the 2012 fiscal year.
"There is no avoiding the pain that comes any time the single largest purchaser of construction services cuts investments by nearly 20 percent in two years," said Ken Simonson, the association's chief economist, noting that the fiscal year 2012 federal construction budget will be 18 percent smaller than the same budget for 2010. "It will take a lot more private sector growth to offset declining federal demand."
Café International, LLC, an Idaho-based company, announced that it has acquired coffee franchise Mountain Mudd Espresso. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
Café International, LLC, is owned by its CFO Betty Hawkins of Boise, Idaho and industry veteran John Adams, CEO. Adams is also the co-owner of regional premium coffee roaster White Cloud Coffee. The pair acquired Mountain Mudd from CHS, Inc., a Minnesota-based company that had owned the franchise for five years.
Adams stated, "Acquiring the Mountain Mudd franchising rights and brand represented a great opportunity for our company. We intend to grow the franchise aggressively over the next several years, both domestically and internationally, and we're excited about keeping the headquarters for these operations in Billings."
Café International is maintaining the Mountain Mudd headquarters in Billings to capitalize on the strength of the existing staff and the operation already in place. Café International has contracts to fulfill at least 117 previously executed franchise agreements in the coming years, with a significant number of those franchises expected to open in the Midwest and Northeast.
"Because construction is a lagging indicator, construction activity needs to increase before we see the industry's unemployment rate begin to decrease."
—ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu.
The nation's construction industry lost jobs for a second straight month, shedding 12,000 jobs in November, according to the Dec. 2 jobs report by the Department of Labor.
During the past twelve months, the construction industry has added 18,000 jobs, or 0.3 percent. The construction unemployment rate slipped from 13.7 percent in October to 13.1 percent in November, and is down from 18.8 percent in November 2010.
Billings Chamber of Commerce/Convention and Visitors Bureau staff members are discussing the latest findings released from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The data shows small businesses' outlook for the United States economy declined in the third quarter and fewer expect to hire additional employees, with many executives citing government taxes and regulations as significant hurdles, according to a poll conducted online for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce by Harris Interactive between September 29 and October 6, 2011.
"The voices of Main Street businesses are telling us plain and simple: To start hiring, we need faster economic growth and a change of course in Washington," said U.S. Chamber President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue.
The Big Sky Business Journal
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Billings, MT 59103