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.

Most Popular
Stories
Videos
loading...
  • Latest StoriesMore>>

  • TechBits: tech news (08.20.14)

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 10:22 PM EDT2014-08-21 02:22:26 GMT
    Microsoft may rename Internet Explorer. In a recent Reddit chat, Microsoft engineers say they've been in talks about revamping some of the company's products. They say it would be a way to shed old negative images of some of its software.Linux is trying to drive into the automotive technology market. At a recent automotive Linux conference, there were discussions of building a core system car companies could tailor to their own needs. It would go up against proprietary systems by companies li...More >>
    Microsoft may rename Internet Explorer. In a recent Reddit chat, Microsoft engineers say they've been in talks about revamping some of the company's products. They say it would be a way to shed old negative images of some of its software.Linux is trying to drive into the automotive technology market. At a recent automotive Linux conference, there were discussions of building a core system car companies could tailor to their own needs. It would go up against proprietary systems by companies li...More >>
  • WATCH: Nick Saban, Alabama football team complete Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS

    WATCH: Nick Saban, Alabama football team complete Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 9:37 PM EDT2014-08-21 01:37:12 GMT
    You know Nick Saban would never back down from a challenge, especially one that's for such a worthy cause.More >>
    You know Nick Saban would never back down from a challenge, especially one that's for such a worthy cause.More >>
  • WATCH: Auburn's Gus Malzahn takes ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

    WATCH: Auburn's Gus Malzahn takes ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 9:24 PM EDT2014-08-21 01:24:27 GMT
    Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Wednesday then called out PGA Tour pro Jason Dufner, who happens to be a huge Tigers football fan, and Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.More >>
    Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Wednesday then called out PGA Tour pro Jason Dufner, who happens to be a huge Tigers football fan, and Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.
    More >>
  • EXCLUSIVE: Birmingham Mayor William Bell addresses criticism of international travel

    EXCLUSIVE: Birmingham Mayor William Bell addresses criticism of international travel

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 8:59 PM EDT2014-08-21 00:59:15 GMT
    For the first time in an exclusive interview with ABC 33/40, Birmingham Mayor William Bell addressed public criticism of his frequent international trips.More >>
    For the first time in an exclusive interview with ABC 33/40, Birmingham Mayor William Bell addressed public criticism of his frequent international trips.More >>
  • Birmingham Mayor confident in DNC pitch, admits hurdles

    Birmingham Mayor confident in DNC pitch, admits hurdles

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 7:22 PM EDT2014-08-20 23:22:25 GMT
    Birmingham Mayor William Bell is more confident than ever in the city's chances of landing the 2016 Democratic National Convention.In an interview with ABC 33/40 Wednesday, Bell said it's a matter of proving the city can handle the large-scale event. Some critics argue other cities vying for the convention have more viable transportation and venue options."We still have a lot of heavy competition in terms of Philadelphia and New York. We lack in some areas that is of interest to the DNC such ...More >>
    Birmingham Mayor William Bell is more confident than ever in the city's chances of landing the 2016 Democratic National Convention.In an interview with ABC 33/40 Wednesday, Bell said it's a matter of proving the city can handle the large-scale event. Some critics argue other cities vying for the convention have more viable transportation and venue options."We still have a lot of heavy competition in terms of Philadelphia and New York. We lack in some areas that is of interest to the DNC such ...More >>
  • Picture emerges of police officer in Ferguson shooting

    Picture emerges of police officer in Ferguson shooting

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 6:46 PM EDT2014-08-20 22:46:00 GMT
    A white police officer whose shooting death of an unarmed black 18-year-old ignited racial upheaval in a St. Louis suburb has been characterized as either an aggressor whose deadly gunfire constituted a daylight execution or a law enforcer wrongly maligned for just doing his job.More >>
    A white police officer whose shooting death of an unarmed black 18-year-old ignited racial upheaval in a St. Louis suburb has been characterized as either an aggressor whose deadly gunfire constituted a daylight execution or a law enforcer wrongly maligned for just doing his job.
    More >>
  • Faulty compressor knocks out air conditioning in two rooms at Rudd Middle School

    Faulty compressor knocks out air conditioning in two rooms at Rudd Middle School

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 6:36 PM EDT2014-08-20 22:36:13 GMT
    High temperatures, big windows and several people gathered inside a room creates a combination sure to make anyone uncomfortable. Parents say that is what's happening at Rudd Middle School in Pinson. ABC 33/40 went to the schools to ask the principal why.More >>
    High temperatures, big windows and several people gathered inside a room creates a combination sure to make anyone uncomfortable. Parents say that is what's happening at Rudd Middle School in Pinson. ABC 33/40 went to the schools to ask the principal why.More >>
  • Hoover City Schools, police to host social media forums for parents

    Hoover City Schools, police to host social media forums for parents

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 6:33 PM EDT2014-08-20 22:33:14 GMT
    Hoover City Schools and local police are teaming up to host two Cyber-Citizenship forums called "FYI For Parents: Your Child and Social Media."More >>
    Hoover City Schools and local police are teaming up to host two Cyber-Citizenship forums called "FYI For Parents: Your Child and Social Media."
    More >>