According to this study from the Daily Yonder, Rural Alabama has had the greatest job losses in the country during this past recession.
“The worst job declines in the nation during this recession have been in rural Alabama, which has 13% fewer jobs than when the recession began.”
Our district 13 has lead the way. Please note: Clay, Cleburne, Randolph, Chambers, and Cherokee counties are deep crimson; and based on this map, nobody wants to wear Crimson. Crimson means that each county lost 12% or more of the total jobs in those counties.
13% of jobs lost! So for every 20 jobs in the fall 2007, 3 were gone by December 31, 2009.
“Both Michigan and Alabama are centers of automobile manufacturing. Now, like Michigan, Alabama — especially rural Alabama — is suffering from the downturn in auto sales.
The authors of the study say the losses are due to our dependence on automobile manufacturing here in this state. As you know, we are now considered a major automotive manufacturing state with Honda, Mercedes- Benz, Hyundai and the Toyota Engine Plant. Automotive sales are down and this leads to job losses.
“When corporations look to reduce costs, branch offices and ancillary operations often bear the brunt of the ax,” John Norris, an economist with Oakworth Capital Bank in Birmingham, told reporter Roy Williams of the Birmingham News. “In almost all recessions, manufacturing jobs get hit hard as demand slows. When you add the loss of corporate headquarters, reliance on manufacturing and low educational results, it isn’t all that surprising Alabama would get hit hard during a full-blown, worldwide recession.”
If our state and communities are to survive in this new market, we need to find ways to become stronger and better able to withstand these changes. More locally-owned businesses of all types are needed to make this happen.
My vision can be compared to an well known television commercial for a bed mattress. To demonstrate the sturdiness of the bed, a glass of red wine is placed on the bed. Then, a lady jumps up and down on the other side of the mattress. The wine never spills.
Just like that mattress, we need to build sturdiness into our local economies so that when Wall Street jumps up and down, our communities do not turn over and “spill.”