The Year of Moving Forward

The Year of Moving Forward
At our 4 person wedding reception in DC

Friday, July 2, 2010

Economic outlook for Alabama looks good!

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.


Elaina said...

Sounds to me like your friend is a pretty smart guy.
Sorry, Joe, I don't see recovery headed our way at all. I see politicians desperately trying to salvage careers by saying what they think we want to hear. You didn't mention that while unemployment dropped to 9.5%, more than 120,000 people still lost their jobs.
I no longer believe this president. Sorry.

Joe said...

Elaina, study the numbers. the 120,000 that lost their jobs are actually part of the 225,000 temporary census workers.

From the report:

"Total private employment edged up
over the month (+83,000) due to modest increases in several industries. So far this year, private-sector
employment has increased by 593,000but in June was 7.9 million below its December 2007 level."

Read where different industries hired and how many.