During the summer conference meeting of the Economic Development Association of Alabama, Auburn University at Montgomery economist Keivan Deravi stated “We must create 22,000 jobs every month to make the unemployment rate in Alabama go down by 1 percent. In the first five months of 2012, the state has only created about 1,300 jobs a month.”
The accompanying chart of available jobs in Alabama during the first half of 2012 supports Dr. Deravi’s contentions.
The May unemployment rate in the greater Birmingham Area increased in May 2012 to 6.8 percent from a low of 5.9 percent in April 2012 according to the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Birmingham lost 1000 jobs according to a report in the June 28, 2012, Birmingham News.
While the number of jobs offered to job seekers has risen slightly there are not enough jobs to accommodate new college graduates, high school age summer job seekers, or the long term unemployed who have just given up on finding a job.
Health care jobs are available at the lowest rate of 2012. Sales positions are readily available. Retail and hospitality positions show continued growth. Manufacturing is still showing slow growth like it has all year long. A continued decline in government positions and construction positions leads the job loss group.
Money is the heart of the jobs problem. The state of Alabama is cutting every program and job that it can to compensate for a huge deficit in 2012 and in 2013 revenue.
While the Alabama Development Office has done a very good job in securing commitments from new businesses to build and operate plants in Alabama most of those developments are at least two years away. The Alabama Development Office has 151 projects in the works.
The expected passage of the RESTORE Act is expected to funnel a projected $1 billion in BP fines into Mobile and other coastal Alabama areas. The construction of infrastructure projects is expected to create more jobs. European jet maker Airbus is expected to open a plant in Mobile that will assemble A320 passenger jets and create approximately 900 jobs.
The effect on jobs creation of the U. S. Supreme Courts decision to uphold the Affordable Healthcare Act on Thursday, June 28, 2012, is to date unknown. Many small businesses may opt to drop their health care programs. This could free up funds for expansion and job creation.
The accompanying charts were developed with data from the Indeed.com web site. Indeed looks at and reports job availability on a daily basis from a large variety of sources.