The Cullman Times
Good news came to Alabama last week with the latest unemployment figures showing a drop to 6.5 percent, the lowest mark since November 2008.
Cullman County stood out in the report with a 5.6 percent unemployment rate, which is the second lowest in the state. For area residents and statewide, the news is encouraging. More people are reclaiming jobs or finding new opportunities, and the horizon is a bit brighter than even a year ago.
Alabama’s leadership, following the lead of strong local development teams such as those found in Cullman and Cullman County, is appropriately focusing on creating an environment that welcomes expansion and new arrivals of private businesses and industries. Gov. Robert Bentley stressed the importance of private growth over government growth when he ran for office. Many lawmakers have been in agreement with the governor and a new spirit of growth and anticipation are taking over the state. Even more could be accomplished if lawmakers would not mimic the national political scene where Republicans and Democrats spar over teh most trivial matters.
On a national scale, economists are struggling to get a clear picture of the economy’s next step because of the political unrest in Washington. While a lot of factors play into the economy outside of the political arena, Washington’s tone has much to do with consumer and business confidence. That goes for the White Houes as well as Congress.
State legislatures have an opportunity to do so much more than the deflated federal leaders. In Alabama, for example, lawmakers must walk closely with their constituents and be accountable for their actions. This state could move forward even faster with a little less contention in Montgomery. The door of opportunity is open.