State still has many bright spots

Published 2:17 am Monday, January 26, 2009

By Staff
ThyssenKrupp is delaying production of stainless steel at its Mobile plant, now under construction. Schools across the state are bracing for bigger budget cuts. And the unemployment rate in Alabama is up to 6.7 percent.
Such news is enough to make you wonder if anything good is happening. But take a closer look, and you'll find that Alabama is among the states best prepared to survive the recession and move quickly past it.
TK's decision to delay production is no surprise; many companies that are under construction are being forced by market conditions to make similar moves. But construction on the plant is continuing, and that will employ thousands of people.
Schools are under proration, and they can likely expect greater cuts next year. But school officials knew this would happen, and they took steps to prepare. And these budget cuts are not just affecting Alabama; other states are looking at similar budget concerns.
Alabama's December unemployment rate was lower than the national average of 7.2 percent, and the rate is also lower than that of neighboring Southeast states.
Consider, too, these “bright spots” from the Alabama Development Office.