Last year new and expanding industries announced plans to create more than 20,000 jobs with investments topping $5.4 billion in Alabama.
But those numbers did not include a single new job or investment in almost a dozen of Alabama's 67 counties.
Three-quarters of that investment and two-thirds of the jobs are slated for the state's 15 urban counties, defined as those with cities that have populations of 25,000 people or more, al.com reported. The rest of the new jobs was split among 41 rural counties and the 11 that ended up empty-handed are also all considered rural.
More than 800 students from 60 colleges will be at Auburn University this weekend for a national event known as the "Landscape Olympics."
Auburn's team of 40 students will show off their skills in 28 events, including tree climbing.
The National Collegiate Landscape Competition attracts recruiters from 50 companies, including Caterpillar and John Deere. They will be at Auburn scouting for the nation's top prospects during the event.
Alabama's unemployment rate has declined for the second month to 8.1 percent.
The state Department of Industrial Relations announced Friday that October's rate is down from a revised rate of 8.2 percent in September. Alabama's unemployment rate increased for four months during the late spring and summer, hitting 8.5 percent in August before declining for the last two months.
Nearly 9,000 more Alabama residents were working in October than in the prior month.
The political consulting firm that helped Robert Bentley win the governor's office is now helping persuade voters to give him more money to lure jobs to Alabama. Bentley is appearing in TV ads urging voters to vote yes on Amendment 2 in the election Nov. 6. The ads were done by Dresner Wickers Barber Sanders. That's a San Francisco firm that helped get across Bentley's message in 2010 that he would not draw a salary as governor until he got Alabama's high unemployment rate down to normal levels.
Alabama's unemployment rate has risen for the fourth consecutive month to 8.5 percent for August. The figure announced Friday by the state Department of Industrial Relations represents more than 183,000 unemployed people. Alabama's unemployment rate has been going up since measuring 7.2 percent in April. It was 7.4 percent in May, 7.8 percent in June and 8.3 percent in July. Alabama's unemployment rate a year ago was 9.1 percent. Counties with the lowest unemployment rates were Shelby at 5.8 percent, Coffee at 7.1 percent, and Blount, Limestone and Madison at 7.2 percent.
The Tennessee Valley Authority plans to add around 100 jobs at its Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant in the next year. The plan, announced Wednesday, is part of an effort to improve performance and safety. TVA chief nuclear officer Preston Swafford says officials will probably start the hiring process in a couple of months. Keith Polson, Browns Ferry site vice president, says the new jobs will involve various specialties such as engineering, maintenance, radiation protection, chemistry, work control and emergency planning.
Alabama's preliminary unemployment rate rose to 8.3 percent in July, up from 7.8 percent in June. Department of Industrial Relations Director Tom Surtees announced the new jobless figures in a statement Friday. He said the state's jobless rate represents 179,535 unemployed persons, compared to 168,602 last month and 202,311 in July 2011. Surtees says the state agency sees more partial unemployment claims in July and December than any other month, and last month was no exception.
Several investors including former Alabama first lady Marsha Folsom say they plan to build a bamboo processing plant in Alabama and turn the state into "the Silicon Valley of bamboo." Folsom has joined the founders of bamboo flooring company Teragren and two other partners to launch Resource Fiber LLC. Officials say Folsom will head plans to build an Alabama processing plant that will employ about 100 and open next year. Folsom said bamboo is a $25 billion industry centered in China, and Alabama is uniquely situated to capture a piece of the market.
President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney have been trading attacks over the issue of American jobs being moved overseas.
The president has pounded Romney for the investments made by his former firm Bain Capital in the 1990s. Not to be outdone, the Romney campaign has suggested most of the money from the president's stimulus program went to create jobs overseas.
Bryce Covert is the Editor of the Roosevelt Institute's New Deal 2.0 blog and a writer for The Nation.
It's no secret anymore (particularly since Obama's The-Private-Sector-Is-Doing-Fine-Gate) that there have been huge numbers of government worker layoffs during the recovery. Many are rightly pointing out that this is only making the jobs crisis worse. But what's behind those losses?
Losing your job is rarely good. Not being able to find one for months can be disastrous for individuals, and bad for society as well. Yet during the recent recession and the current anemic recovery, more people in the U.S. have been unemployed for longer than at any time since 1948.
Of all Americans who were unemployed in June, almost half had been without a job for 27 weeks or longer. In other words, 5.4 million people have been jobless for more than half a year.