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Here is today's summary of economic development news, a free service of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, representing Alabama's private sector investment in economic development.  If you enjoy NewsFlash, thank an EDPA Partner


In this issue:
Worker shortage slows recovery
Personal income increased in Alabama year-over-year for first quarter
Pope Francis gets the keys to a converted, Alabama-built Mercedes
Economy growing? 5 highlights from this month's U.S. jobs report



Worker shortage slows recovery | State tries to bridge divide between students, in-demand jobs 

Written by Brad Harper

Jul. 6, 2013


You don't have to tell Drew Linn that the economy's picking up. He sells big rigs to the state's trucking industry, which is rolling as demand increases.


"Business is good," said Linn, president and CEO of Southland International Trucks Inc. "It would probably be better if some of our customers had more qualified drivers."


In fact, state research shows that more people were looking for truck drivers than any other type of employee in May. It was the same way a year ago. Linn's surprised by the shortage, especially since the job can pay more than $70,000 a year.


State official Kib McKibbens said business owners have told him that the kink in the job supply line has kept them from shifting to a higher gear.


"I was really struck by that," said McKibbens, the director of the Governor's Office of Small Business Development. "Now I'm seeing it in the data."


It's not just the trucking industry. Experts say a disconnect between students and the realities of the Alabama job market have created shortages in a range of in-demand careers from engineering to welding.




[Montgomery Advertiser]




Personal income increased in Alabama year-over-year for first quarter

Jul 05, 2013


Many Alabamians have a little more money in their wallets than they did a year ago.

According to a report the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released last week, personal income increased in Alabama by about 2.2 percent in the first quarter of the year compared to the same quarter last year, due to improvements in certain sectors such as construction and real estate. Some experts say the small year-over-year income growth signals slow but definite economic improvement for the state.

The report shows personal income in Alabama totaled about $173.8 million in the first quarter, an increase from about $170 million in the first quarter of last year. Income in the first quarter would have been higher were it not for unique circumstances, such as the expiration of the payroll tax holiday, resulting in an increase in payroll deductions for Social Security at the end of last year, the report states.

The report also shows Alabama's personal income increase was slightly lower than the national average, which increased 2.76 percent for the first quarter of the year compared to the same quarter last year.

"That Alabama income has not increased as much as the U.S. average is not great, but being behind by only half a percentage point is still a good sign," said Robert Robicheaux, chairman of the department of marketing, industrial distribution and economics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.  




[Anniston Star]



Pope Francis gets the keys to the latest Popemobile, a converted, Alabama-built Mercedes M-Class 

July 05, 2013 at 10:59 AM 

The head of Mercedes-Benz Cars had a private meeting this week with Pope Francis at the Vatican to hand over the keys to the latest Popemobile, which was converted from an M-Class produced at the German automaker's Alabama plant.


Dieter Zetsche, who also is chairman of the Board of Management for Mercedes parent Daimler AG, met with Pope Francis in the Domus Santa Marta, the guest house of the Vatican and the Pope's current residence, the company said.


Pope Francis will use the vehicle during his first official trip to Brazil at the end of this month.







Economy growing? 5 highlights from this month's U.S. jobs report 

By Alex Walsh 

July 05, 2013 at 7:37 AM


 The U.S. economy added 195,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate did not change, and remains 7.6 percent.

Here are some key takeaways from this month's U.S. jobs report:
- June good for jobs. The economy added 195,000 jobs in June, up slightly from the prior 12 month average of 182,000. 
- Buy you a drink? More than a third of the jobs added in June were added in the leisure and hospitality industry, and the majority of those jobs were added in the subcategory of "food services and drinking places."
- Other growth industries included business and professional services, retail trade, health care, and financial activities.
- Government employment at the federal level shrank. That part of the public sector has shed 65,000 jobs over the past 12 months.


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Enjoy the day, 

Val Walton
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