What the numbers really say about unemployment - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

What the numbers really say about unemployment

Posted: Updated:

Numbers don't lie, but how those numbers are interpreted can paint dramatically different pictures. One case in point comes from a look at employment and a rebounding economy.

The Labor Department reports the number of people seeking unemployment benefits rose by 5,000 last week. Analysts say that number remains close to pre-recession levels and suggests a stable job market.

Then, there is this. Wednesday, new federal reserve chair Janet Yellen announced the U.S. economy is, "not close to full employment" even though the unemployment rate has dropped a full percentage point over the past year. The drop is attributed in part to the fact many people have stopped looking for work and are no longer counted as unemployed.

Construction employment remains one of the toughest nuts to crack as the nation works to rebound. In Alabama, the only metro areas showing an upswing in construction employment from January 2013 to January 2014 are Florence-Muscle Shoals and Huntsville. Anniston, Gadsden, and Montgomery showed no change. Birmingham and Tuscaloosa lost jobs.

Yellen believes construction numbers can improve as children are able to move out and be on their own. She said, "There are a lot of kids who are shacking up with their families, and probably would like to be going out and acquiring places of their own, whether it's an apartment or a home. There's a lot of demographic potential there for new household formation, it would ultimately generate new construction - either single or multifamily. "

Yellen confirms unemployment remains elevated and remains a significant concern moving forward.

  • Central Alabama NewsMore>>

  • House Republicans optimistic about new US-Mexico border bill

    House Republicans optimistic about new US-Mexico border bill

    Friday, August 1 2014 11:38 AM EDT2014-08-01 15:38:13 GMT
    House Republicans expressed optimism on Friday that a revised, $694 million bill addressing the surge of immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border would win over reluctant conservatives and give a divided GOP a political win.More >>
    House Republicans expressed optimism on Friday that a revised, $694 million bill addressing the surge of immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border would win over reluctant conservatives and give a divided GOP a political win.
    More >>
  • Fridays to Go, August 1 - 3

    Fridays to Go, August 1 - 3

    Friday, August 1 2014 7:55 AM EDT2014-08-01 11:55:25 GMT
    Some of the area events for August 1 thru 3More >>
    Some of the area events for August 1 thru 3
    More >>
  • Lethal injections on hold in Alabama

    Lethal injections on hold in Alabama

    Thursday, July 31 2014 9:19 PM EDT2014-08-01 01:19:47 GMT
    16 Alabama death row inmates have exhausted their appeals and are waiting to be executed. But, lethal injections will not be performed in the state at least until next spring. Republican state Senator Cam Ward says that will be the earliest lawmakers will be able to pass new legislation that will allow Alabama to get the drugs used for executions.Ward says that pharmaceutical companies are refusing to sell Alabama more drugs until they can get some type of protection or immunity. It's because...More >>
    16 Alabama death row inmates have exhausted their appeals and are waiting to be executed. But, lethal injections will not be performed in the state at least until next spring. Republican state Senator Cam Ward says that will be the earliest lawmakers will be able to pass new legislation that will allow Alabama to get the drugs used for executions.Ward says that pharmaceutical companies are refusing to sell Alabama more drugs until they can get some type of protection or immunity. It's because...More >>
Most Popular
Stories
Videos
loading...