We need to remember that number. 66,501 is the number of rural jobs lost in Alabama between July 2007 and July 2010. Stated another way, there are 66,501 less jobs present in rural Alabama than there were in July 2007.
As reported on Daily Yonder, losing that many rural jobs vaults Alabama as a leader in rural job loss, losing 11.65% of rural jobs. (In fact, each rural county in District 13 experienced “major job loss” except Cleburne County which experienced “significant job loss.”) We’re #2 in rural job loss. Michigan led the nation with 11.72%. So thank goodness for Michigan, right! Don’t cheer yet; note we were only .07% behind first place, a virtual tie for first. (And Michigan was the epicenter of the collapse of the auto industry.)
How is this news not headlines on every newspaper or the lead story on each nightly news prgram? Where are the inquiries? Why no examination of our policies? Why are “heads not rolling?”
Let’s consider Alabama or Auburn football: your choice. If the head coach of either team finished dead last or led the nation in games lost, points allowed or turnovers, the coach would be quickly dispatched, not praised as the greatest coach of all time.
To lead the nation in rural job loss evidences a failure: a failure of responsive policy, a failure of vision, a failure of innovative ideas, a failure of competency to understand the needs of a twenty-first century economy.
The dates within this article are significant. They largely correspond with my opponent’s tenure as director of the Rural Action Commission. In February 2007, he was specifically tasked (and paid around $125,000 per year including perks) to create rural jobs, “to spur development in rural Alabama.”
However, under his watch, Alabama led the nation in rural job loss. 66,501 jobs lost, but $376,000 paid to Gerald Dial.