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The State of Working Alabama 2014: On Labor Day, Alabama workers face high unemployment, lost jobs, stagnant wages and increased inequality
Many Alabama workers may find little reason to celebrate as we approach this Labor Day. The Great Recession is officially over, but the average Alabama worker has not yet recovered from it, as employment and jobs continue to lag behind and wages remain stagnant.
Policy analyst Carol Gundlach's new report, part of ACPP's State of Working Alabama 2014 series, examines the difficult employment, job and wage trends that working Alabamians face, as well as the growing income inequality between the top 1 percent and the rest of the population. The report also considers how Medicaid expansion, investments in infrastructure, an end to the state sales tax on groceries and other policies could help boost job growth, reduce unemployment and support Alabama workers.
The State of Working Alabama 2011
Well after the nation's official recovery from the Great Recession began, Alabama continued to feel the downturn's lingering effects in 2010: lower median household incomes, more poverty and more residents without health insurance. Unemployment has fallen from its 2009 peak, but the state's jobless rate remains above the national average. Higher poverty, fueled by lower incomes and stubbornly high unemployment, hit the state's youngest residents especially hard, with one in four Alabama children living below the poverty line in 2009-10.
The State of Working Alabama 2010
Like this summer's BP oil disaster, the Great Recession started for many Alabamians as something far away and impersonal. Then the disaster hit Alabama, and it hit hard. The resulting devastation was far-reaching, with scars that could last for decades even as things begin to return to normal.
New report shows broad impact of ARRA direct assistance
Boosting the spending power of workers struggling to get by played a crucial role in stemming Alabama's economic decline, according to a new report on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) from Arise Citizens' Policy Project. The report, titled Cushioning the Blow: ARRA's Direct Assistance to Alabama's Working Families, finds that by late May 2010, the act's five major forms of cash assistance had provided a total of more than $2.1 million to Alabama's economy.
The State of Working Alabama 2009
The economic recession took longer to crash the party in Alabama than in many other states. But once it did arrive in late 2008, it made its presence known swiftly and severely. Alabama once boasted a far lower unemployment rate than the national average. Now it has one of the highest. Despite a decade of solid growth in the state's productivity, the shares of Alabamians who live in poverty or lack health insurance have shown no appreciable declines in this decade. And the state's workers face broader challenges in their efforts to climb the economic ladder, such as soaring college tuition costs and a regressive tax system.