Archive for the ‘Unemployment’ Category

>Economic outlook for Alabama looks good!

July 2, 2010

>On Facebook I have friends of all stripes, even teabaggers. One, whom many of you know, is particularly critical of our president and his policies. I’m not going to call him out by name, but here are some of the comments he’s posted on my Facebook page.

“This administration is THE WORST we have EVER had. It won’t matter WHO runs against BHO in 2012, he doesn’t have a CHANCE! THANK GOD! “

“It’s NOT getting better. The economy is down, the jobless rate is not improving, the housing market has crashed.”

“Not ONE SINGLE PROGRAM that Obama is trying is working. “

“Economic numbers & approval rating numbers will show you that we are worse off than we have EVER been & we aren’t happy about it. There is nothing this moron has done that has even begun to turn this country around.”

Let’s look at some trends. When coming out of a recession, or a depression, trends are more important than individual numbers because factors that may cause a temporary rise or fall are more easily identified. Plus, you get a sense of where things are heading.

These figures are from Gallup.

Here’s a chart that shows job creation for the last 7 months. The per cent of employers that are hiring is indicated by the dark green line, and the per cent of employers letting people go is indicated by the light green line.

Clearly, these trends are both moving in the right direction. Almost one third of employers in the U. S. are hiring right now. About one in five are still having to lay off or fire people.

Surely we need even more improvement in these numbers, but the trend is favorable.

Here is a chart that indicates underemployment in the U. S. for the last 7 months. Underemployment includes the unemployed and those who are employed part-time but want to work full time. These numbers were released by Gallup earlier this week and based on their findings they predicted unemployment numbers released today to be 9.5%.

Notice, again, the trend. Underemployment is declining.

When the unemployment numbers were released this morning, 9.5 was the figure. Pretty good prediction, Gallup.

Here’s the unemployment chart released this morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Not a great drop in unemployment, but better than most analysts (except Gallup) predicted, and certainly a move in the right direction.

Let’s bring the economic news home to Alabama.

In this morning’s Birmingham News,in the money section,was this headline and story:

State gains solid ground on recovery, UA survey says.

Alabama business leaders believe the state has turned the corner on a meaningful economic recovery, according to the results of a University of Alabama survey released this morning.

The Alabama Business Confidence Index, derived from responses from 345 business executives across the state, indicates expansion for the second quarter in a row, after 10 consecutive quarters of contraction. “Given the successful forecasting history of the index, this should be a good indication that the recovery has taken hold,” officials at the university’s Center for Business and Economic Research note in a report.

All elements of the confidence index scored in positive territory this quarter, meaning expectations are growing for increased hiring, sales and profits in coming months. “The operating environment for Alabama businesses should be much improved,” the report says.

So, it looks like the situation is improving and is poised for further improvement here in Alabama.

If my friend who can’t see the forest for the tea leaves would keep up with the news and what is going on, instead of only listening to Faux Network, he would realize that President Obama is doing as good as could be expected with congress so divided as it is. That’s a whole different story, for another day.

There are other indications that the president is doing a good job and that the things he is doing are working, but this is enough for today.


February 19, 2010

>Tiger Woods is speaking to a hand full of hand picked reporters now. He chooses the middle of the Olympics to bring back up an episode that we had been able to forget.

Good timing or bad timing?

A young person close to me was listening as Tiger was talking about being a role model for young people out of concern that his infidelity would drive young people away from golf. But this person said that he might have just made a boring sport more interesting to many young people, and the sport might grow rapidly.

The deal to use stimulus money to build the Norfolk Southern intermodal hub in McCalla is being announced today or soon. Cynics say its just a ploy to prop up the stimulus (for which there is tons of evidence if they would just take the time to look).

Good timing or bad timing for the announcement?

Actions speak louder than words, as the republicans say, regarding the stimulus.

Speaking of the stimulus and the economy you have probably seen this graph, but if you are a republican you may have ignored it. Its a chart of job losses during the Bush and Obama years.

Notice the trend. So jobs were trending “loss” during the previous administration, and are trending “gain” during the current administration.

Republicans either ignore the truth, bend the truth, or make up the truth to promote their “Waterloo” agenda. Decent Americans respect the truth.

Olympic Update

Not really, just a couple of photos.

Johnny Weir may have been robbed a little in scoring, but he has a style unlike any other male figure skater.

I made a comment last night that maybe he was just a little too flamboyant for the judges and the same young person reminded me that this was male figure skating. Enough said. But congratulations to Evan, gold medal winner! And Johnny, we love you!!!

This is for those of you who said curling offers nothing, including no good lookers.

Canadian curler John Morris

There is some concern among readers both in the comments and in person that I will not be able to live up to my Lenten promise. Here is part of my strategy.

During the Olympics I am not watching Keith or Rachel or Bill O or Glenn or listening to Rush. I get my news from the newspaper and from the news shows, mainly channel 13 for local and NBC for national. So I miss a lot of the worthless chatter (of which I realize I am a part) that most people don’t hear anyway.

When the Olympics are over I’m not sure what I will do. Maybe keep watching regular news and turn the TV off and read like they did in the 1940’s or watch more “Cougar Town” and “Modern Family ” and “Amazing Race.”

It’s all part of the new and improved Joe.


July 3, 2009

>Bessemer’s unemployment rate is nearing 30%. Back in the 1980’s just after the Pullman Standard plant closed, the unemployment rate topped 30%. Now it is at 27%. I hate to be cynical, but is this part of the “blessing” of Bessemer that we are hearing so much about?

One major unemployment announcement today is that Sarah Palin will step down as governor of Alaska at the end of the month. She said at the end of the Governor’s picnic on July 26 the Lieutenant Governor, whoever he is , oh, Sean Parnell, will be sworn in. He seemed a little surprised at the announcement, but later it was reported he has known since Wednesday.

From CNN

“Either Sarah Palin is leaving the people of Alaska high and dry to pursue her long shot national political ambitions or she simply can’t handle the job now that her popularity has dimmed and oil revenues are down,” DNC spokesman Brad Woodhouse said.
“Either way, her decision to abandon her post and the people of Alaska who elected her continues a pattern of bizarre behavior that more than anything else may explain the decision she made today.”

The Republicans are very entertaining, is all I can say. And at least she knocked Michael Jackson coverage off the air for a couple for a couple of hours.

Now, more about the Fourth of July.

When you cook out, cook some corn. I usually shuck it and wrap it aluminum foil after applying butter and salt and pepper. A little cayenne is good too.

But earlier this week I decided to pretend I was a Native American teaching the early settlers how to cook, so I pulled the husks down, removed the silks and buttered the corn and then pulled the husks back up. I took the longest husks and made a tie to keep the husks in place, and then grilled the corn.

Man, you’ve never had such good corn. And it smelled so good while cooking. The burgers were good too.