You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myStatesman.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myStatesman.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myStatesman.com.

Business


Austin’s 2016 job growth dropped sharply, but unemployment remained low

Austin-area employers added jobs last year at the slowest pace since the recession, but unemployment remained low and the number of employed Central Texans continued to rise steadily, according to preliminary data released Friday by the Texas Workforce Commission. Local companies and governments expanded payrolls by just 1.9 percent from December 2016 to December 2017, the slowest rate of any year...
Tight labor market stunted Austin job growth in 2016

Tight labor market stunted Austin job growth in 2016

Well, Austin, you can get too much of a good thing. Six years of rapid job growth and falling unemployment in the Austin metro reached a breaking point in 2016, as the region’s increasingly tight labor market forced area employers to ease back on hiring, according to preliminary data released Friday by the Texas Workforce Commission. Central Texas employers expanded payrolls just 1.9 percent...

Business Digest: AT&T debuts DirecTV Now, adds 200,000 subscribers

MEDIA AT&T debuts DirecTV Now, adds 200,000 subscribers DALLAS — AT&T beat analysts’ expectations and signed up new pay-TV customers for the first time in seven quarters with its new online video streaming service, DirecTV Now. The streaming service offers a lineup that’s similar to cable TV but doesn’t require a cable box, satellite dish or annual contract. The Dallas-based...
Texas, Mexico officials wary of Trump’s trade plans

Texas, Mexico officials wary of Trump’s trade plans

As the eyes of the country turned toward Washington on Friday morning to watch Donald Trump become the 45th president of the United States, the eyes of some in Texas now turn south to Mexico as business leaders wonder how a Trump administration could affect trade with the state’s foremost trading partner. Trump has said he would change or withdraw from North American Free Trade Agreement calling...
H-E-B buys Northeast Austin property to house regional offices

H-E-B buys Northeast Austin property to house regional offices

H-E-B’s Austin regional office is getting a new home. The area’s dominant grocer said Friday it has purchased a 100,000-square-foot office complex at 8100 Cameron Road in Northeast Austin. The complex, which sits on a 6-acre site and was built in 1985, consists of a pair of two-story brick buildings. One spans about 60,000 square feet, records show; the other is about 40,000 square feet...

Business Digest: Austin-area gas prices tick downward

FUEL Austin-area gas prices tick downward After rising more than 20 cents in the past six weeks, Austin-area gas prices edged down slightly this week. The average local price for a gallon of regular gasoline dropped 1 cent to $2.12, according to auto club AAA Texas. The average price per gallon had risen 22 cents in the previous six weeks, according to AAA Texas data. Gas prices have been moving higher...
Central Texas H-E-B store getting Whataburger drive-through

Central Texas H-E-B store getting Whataburger drive-through

Two beloved Texas brands are ready to take their relationship to the next level. An H-E-B-branded convenience store set to open next week in Hutto will feature a 24-hour Whataburger drive-through. It will be at 5000 Gattis School Road, in front of the Hutto H-E-B Plus that opened in November. This will be the first Central Texas H-E-B location to feature a Whataburger drive-through and the second...
Experts see strong 2017 for Austin-area housing market

Experts see strong 2017 for Austin-area housing market

This year is expected to be another strong one for the Central Texas housing market. That was the forecast local expert Eldon Rude delivered to about 700 industry professionals at an annual housing outlook event at the JW Marriott in downtown Austin sponsored by Home Builders Association of Greater Austin and the Austin Board of Realtors. “What an amazing run we’ve had the last four or...
Expert: Austin-area housing outlook bright for 2017

Expert: Austin-area housing outlook bright for 2017

Signs point to 2017 being another strong year for the Central Texas housing market. That was the forecast local market expert Eldon Rude delivered to more than 700 industry professionals at an annual housing outlook event at the JW Marriott in downtown Austin Thursday. “What an amazing run we’ve had the last four or five or six years,” Rude said. “We’ve had a strong start...
Improving energy sector helps region’s economic activity rise

Improving energy sector helps region’s economic activity rise

Strong demand across a wide swath of Texas industry, including the improving energy sector, helped boost regional economic growth, according to a report Wednesday from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. In its chapter of the Beige Book, an anecdotal survey of the economy compiled every six weeks by the Federal Reserve banks, the Dallas Fed said the economic activity in its district “expanded...

Business Digest: Southwest adds seasonal Austin to Pensacola flights

TRAVEL Southwest adds seasonal flights to Pensacola, Fla. Southwest Airlines is beefing up its presence at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. The airline said Wednesday that it will offer summer-only service to Pensacola, Fla., beginning June 10. The flights will operate Saturdays only. Several other changes are set to take place June 4, including an additional nonstop flight to Denver on Sundays...

Austin area’s 2016 home sales, median prices set records

Central Texas home sales and home prices hit record highs in 2016, the Austin Board of Realtors said Wednesday. It was the sixth straight year of record sales and prices in the Austin metro area. Economists are predicting a strong housing market for 2017, though perhaps not as hearty as 2016 — there’s even the prospect of the rapid home price increases seen in recent years easing up some...
At ABIA, Southwest adds service to 1 city, increases flights to 4 more

At ABIA, Southwest adds service to 1 city, increases flights to 4 more

Southwest Airlines is beefing up its presence at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. The discount airline said Wednesday that it will offer summer-only service to Pensacola, Fla., beginning June 10. The flights will operate Saturdays only. Several other changes are set to take place June 4, including an additional nonstop flight to Denver on Sundays; an extra flight to New Orleans, La., each weekday...
Developer plans apartments, retail for West Anderson Lane site

Developer plans apartments, retail for West Anderson Lane site

A mixed-used project is envisioned for a rapidly changing part of North Central Austin. California-based Paydar Properties Inc. said this week it has acquired the 27 Eleven office building at 2711 W. Anderson Lane. A Chase bank branch is the primary tenant in the two-story, 31,326-square-foot building. Other occupants include a State Farm insurance office and a property management company. The seller...
Austin-area home sales, median price hit all-time high in 2016

Austin-area home sales, median price hit all-time high in 2016

Central Texas home sales and home prices hit a record high in 2016, the Austin Board of Realtors said Wednesday. It was the sixth straight year of record sales and prices in the Austin metro area. Economists are forecasting a strong housing market for 2017, though perhaps not as robust as 2016. Austin-area buyers purchased 29,569 single-family homes last year, the board said, a 3.9 percent increase...
Commentary: Texas Education Agency rankings are a work in progress

Commentary: Texas Education Agency rankings are a work in progress

Scheberle is senior vice president for education and talent at the Austin Chamber of Commerce. On Jan. 6, the Texas Education Agency released a preliminary report card for schools based on its new accountability system. It was a promising start. However, before we read too much into what receiving an “A” or an “F” means on any of the individual performance measures, there are...

Business Digest: Three Austin TV stations get new owner

BROADCASTING 3 Austin TV stations get new owner A year after it was first announced, Irving-based Nexstar Broadcasting Group Inc. said Monday that it has completed its acquisition of fellow broadcaster Media General Inc. Richmond, Va.-based Media General operates three Austin TV stations: NBC affiliate KXAN, CW affiliate KNVA and MyNetworkTV affiliate KBVO. The $4.6 billion deal makes Nexstar the...
Now appearing at Strange Brew: Locked doors, ‘for lease’ sign

Now appearing at Strange Brew: Locked doors, ‘for lease’ sign

Say so long to Strange Brew? What the popular South Austin music venue and coffee shop first described as a temporary closure last week increasingly appears to be permanent, with its doors still locked and a “for lease” sign now posted in the parking lot. Employees and musicians were taken by surprise Thursday when landlord Republic Commercial Properties locked the doors of the business...
Whole Foods closing 3 regional kitchens, trimming 500 jobs

Whole Foods closing 3 regional kitchens, trimming 500 jobs

Austin-based grocer Whole Foods Market said Monday that it will shutter three regional kitchens along the East Coast as part of an ongoing corporate consolidation effort. Combined, the facilities in Everett, Mass.; Landover, Md.; and metro Atlanta employ about 500 people, Whole Foods spokeswoman Betsy Harden said. The company has more than 87,000 employees worldwide. The affected employees were given...
PEC board rebukes, but doesn’t remove, director for controversial post

PEC board rebukes, but doesn’t remove, director for controversial post

The Pedernales Electric Cooperative board of directors voted to reprimand one of its directors for a controversial Facebook statement and demote him from a leadership position on the board — a move that some critics, who called for his removal from the board, said did not go far enough. The disciplinary action stemmed from a comment director James Oakley made in November that it was “time...

Some investments aren’t worth the trouble

I am 62 and have about $700,000 in savings. Half is invested in Vanguard Balanced Index Fund, half in cash. I have no debt and no income need now, but I will need about $2,000 a month at age 65. I feel this stock market is getting real tired. I’m thinking of selling $100,000 of VBINX and buying a three-year deferred annuity. I’d buy an annuity with a five-year payout of $1,800 a month...
For Texas business leaders, session may have familiar look

For Texas business leaders, session may have familiar look

For Texas business leaders, there might be a “Groundhog Day” feel to the just-started legislative session. In that 1993 movie, Bill Murray’s character lived the same day over and over again. And in this session — just like in 2015 — the state’s business sector finds itself focused on the same priorities it went to battle over in the last session: the state&rsquo...
Top Local Business Stories of the Week

Top Local Business Stories of the Week

TEXAS ECONOMY Dallas Fed: State economy to pick up in 2017, but modestly: The Texas economy and labor market should grow a little sunnier this year, but a few of the dark clouds that gathered in the past two years will linger into 2017, according to economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Texas should expand payrolls by 2 percent this year, about 242,000 jobs, senior economist Keith Phillips...

The ‘be careful what you wish for’ economy

In an ideal world, everyone would save money so they could take care of their own retirement. Some would call this a Jeffersonian ideal. Others might say it is a Republican core belief. But it’s a widely admired idea. It is most admired by those who feel closer to the ideal world than the world in which the rest of us live. Forty years ago, when I started writing this column, I thought lots...
Bathroom bill draws battle lines between GOP, business community

Bathroom bill draws battle lines between GOP, business community

When Texas Republican state Sen. Lois Kolkhorst of Brenham and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick announced the filing of the Texas Privacy Act in early January, they pitched it as a move to protect businesses and the privacy of Texans. But as the Texas legislative session gears, up the state’s business community — which has come out in opposition to Senate Bill 6 — will go on the offensive to...

Business Digest: Toyota adds 543,000 vehicles to air bag recall

AUTOMAKERS Toyota adds 543,000 vehicles to air bag recall TOKYO — Toyota Motor Corp. says it is recalling another 543,000 vehicles in the U.S. for defective front passenger air bag inflators made by Japan’s Takata Corp. Takata is at the center of a massive recall of inflators that can explode in a crash, spewing metal shrapnel inside the vehicles. Toyota said Friday that the recall includes...
North Austin shopping center gets new owner, new tenant

North Austin shopping center gets new owner, new tenant

A new owner is working to breathe life back into a North Austin shopping center that lost its primary tenant a year ago. New York-based RD Management said this week it has acquired Shops at Tech Ridge, at 12901 N. Interstate 35 near East Parmer Lane. The 504,153-square-foot center, which opened in 2003, had been anchored by a SuperTarget store until January 2016, when the retailer shuttered its location...
Drink with a kick: Chuck Norris launches bottled water company 

Drink with a kick: Chuck Norris launches bottled water company 

Even though the former “Walker, Texas Ranger” star isn’t fighting crime on the small screen anymore, Chuck Norris is flexing his muscle in the business world.   The famous martial artist, actor, and frequent subject of jokes regarding superhuman strength is tossing his cowboy hat into the bottled water industry. Norris and his wife Gena are heading up CForce, a line of bottled...

Panel recommends reprimand for Pedernales director over Facebook post

A Pedernales Electric Cooperative committee is recommending that one of the utility’s directors who made controversial statements on Facebook be issued a reprimand and be demoted from his leadership position on the co-op’s board. In November, Pedernales Electric director James Oakley wrote on Facebook that it was “time for a tree and a rope” in a post about an African-American...
Report: Austin’s retail sector remains hottest in Texas

Report: Austin’s retail sector remains hottest in Texas

Finding space for all the retailers and restaurants itching to set up shop in Central Texas isn’t easy these days. The region continues to lead the state – and most of the nation – when it comes to retail occupancy, according to new figures from Weitzman, a commercial real estate firm with offices across Texas. As 2016 came to an end, retail occupancy in the Austin area was at 96...

Business Digest: Austin-area gas prices hold steady this week

FUEL Austin-area gas prices hold steady this week After rising steadily in recent weeks, Austin-area gasoline prices held steady this week, according to auto club AAA Texas. The average local price for a gallon of regular gasoline was unchanged at $2.13 per gallon, AAA Texas said. The average price per gallon had risen 22 cents in the previous five weeks, according to AAA Texas data. Gas prices have...

Austin workers protest, denounce Trump’s pick for labor secretary

Austin #Fighfor15 activists and fast-food workers joined in nationwide protests on Thursday to denounce President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to lead the U.S. Labor Department. Trump nominated Andrew Puzder, the head of CKE Restaurants, the parent company of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, for labor secretary last month. Around 20 protesters marched along South First Street to a Carl&rsquo...
Maggio returning to Austin’s airwaves with KLRU gig

Maggio returning to Austin’s airwaves with KLRU gig

One of Austin’s best-known broadcasters is returning to city’s airwaves. In her new role as KLRU’s news and public affairs editorial director, you won’t see Judy Maggio every night on the local PBS affiliate, but she will pop up on special broadcasts from time to time. “Now more than ever we know our audiences want to see more local news and public affairs programming...
KVUE anchor swap: Gruca, Culpepper trading spots

KVUE anchor swap: Gruca, Culpepper trading spots

Two of Austin’s best-known television news anchors are swapping shifts. Quita Culpepper, anchor of KVUE’s 5 p.m. newscast, will add the station’s 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. broadcasts to her workload on a permanent basis starting next week. Culpepper will also continue to do her popular “Does It Work Wednesday” consumer segment. Terri Gruca, who currently anchors the 6 p.m. and...

Business Digest: Author, TV execs headline latest SXSW speakers list

SXSW Author, TV execs headline latest SXSW speakers list South by Southwest on Wednesday released another round of featured speakers for the March 10-19 conference. The list includes decluttering author Marie Kondo (”The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up”); David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the showrunners of the popular series “Game of Thrones” on HBO; futurist Ray Kurzweil (&rdquo...
Operator sought for new restaurant at Republic Square Park

Operator sought for new restaurant at Republic Square Park

With Republic Square in the midst of an extreme makeover, the Downtown Austin Alliance is searching for someone to run a soon-to-open restaurant at the park. The counter-service eatery is expected to offer breakfast, lunch and dinner, the Downtown Austin Alliance said. “The Downtown Austin Alliance, Austin Parks Foundation and City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department are excited to revitalize...
New operator set to take over closed Lakeline Mall theater

New operator set to take over closed Lakeline Mall theater

A vacant theater at Lakeline Mall won’t stay dark for long. AMC Theatres said Wednesday that it will take over the recently closed Regal Lakeline Mall 9 cineplex at 11200 Lakeline Mall Drive. The theater is expected to reopen in nine months, following an extensive remodeling project that will cost several million dollars, according to Simon, Lakeline Mall’s operator. When it debuts in...
Economists: Texas economy to pick up in 2017, but modestly

Economists: Texas economy to pick up in 2017, but modestly

The Texas economy and labor market should grow a little sunnier this year, but a few of the dark clouds that gathered in the past two years will linger into 2017, according to economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Texas employers should expand payrolls by 2 percent this year, about 242,000 jobs, senior economist Keith Phillips said this week in San Antonio. While far lower than the state&rsquo...

Business Digest: Austin adds flights to Indianapolis, Ft. Walton Beach

AIR TRAVEL Austin getting nonstops to Indianapolis, Fort Walton Beach Allegiant Air continues to grow its presence at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, with plans to add nonstop flights to two more destinations. The discount carrier said Tuesday it will start service to Indianapolis, Ind., and Destin/Fort Walton Beach, Fla., this year. The Destin/Fort Walton Beach flights will be seasonal, beginning...
Rainey project lands $100 million-plus in financing

Rainey project lands $100 million-plus in financing

Developers say they have landed more than $100 million in financing as they move ahead with a 34-story luxury residential tower under way on Rainey Street in downtown Austin. Holliday Fenoglio Fowler said it arranged the $106 million construction loan with Acore Capital LP, a commercial real estate finance company, for 70 Rainey, a condominium tower under construction on the south end of Rainey Street...
Austin airport getting nonstops to Indianapolis, Fort Walton Beach

Austin airport getting nonstops to Indianapolis, Fort Walton Beach

Allegiant Air continues to grow its presence at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, with plans to add nonstop flights to two more destinations. The discount carrier said Tuesday it will start service to Indianapolis, Ind., and Destin/Fort Walton Beach, Fla., this year. The Destin/Fort Walton Beach flights will be seasonal, beginning May 4, while Indianapolis service will be year-round, debuting...

Business Digest: Austin tech firm agrees to merger

TECHNOLOGY Austin tech firm agrees to merger JanCom Technologies, an Austin-based technology consulting firm, has merged with IMEG Corp., the companies said Monday. Founded in 1997, JanCom works primarily as a consultant to the architectural community, providing design services for the construction of technology systems. IMEG is a national design consulting firm specializing in building systems, infrastructure...
Asian grocer HMart plans first Austin store

Asian grocer HMart plans first Austin store

A grocery chain known for specializing in Asian delicacies is on its way to Central Texas. HMart plans to open its first Austin store at 11301 Lakeline Blvd., near Lakeline Mall, according to filings with city and state agencies. The store will take over adjoining buildings vacated when Bed Bath & Beyond and Sports Authority left the Parkline shopping center, documents show. Other nearby retailers...

Best defense against rising medical costs: Educate yourself

What about medical expenses when you are retired? I have substantial assets, but I am worried about medical expenses eating up everything before I die. They can be quite costly, even with Medicare. — G.G., Austin Sadly, your concern is entirely reasonable. Even when mediated by insurance, including Medicare, health care costs in America have simply priced themselves beyond what the vast majority...