Unemployment

By: Danielle Eldredge Email
By: Danielle Eldredge Email

November unemployment statistics are out, and they don't look good.

Some local retailers give us a look behind the numbers.

After strong sales during Black Friday, many had high hopes for the state of the economy and are now surprised by the disappointing unemployment news.

Local business owners explain how business may be good, but the unemployment line in growing.

“This year for us as a company has been a good year. We had a really good November sales on black Friday for us. I'm really optimistic about the future. I think the economy is picking up but it's slowly picking up,” said Ronnie Brown, Owner of Ronnie’s Men and Boys Wear.

Brown has high hopes despite the latest economic news.

The national unemployment rate is 9.8 percent, a seven month high.

Also, the November hiring rate is only a fourth of what economists anticipated.

To put things into perspective, employers created 172,000 jobs in October.

Considering holiday help, economists predicted 150,000 new jobs for November.

In reality, only 39,000 were hired.

Brown says he may be able to explain the national trend.

This year, he and many other local retailers aren't hiring as much holiday help, and instead increasing hours for current employees.

“So this year since we have such a good staff of part time people and the economy being tight we have decided to give our extra people more hours and let them make a little more money during the Christmas season to help us get through this busy period,” said Brown.

He says this new philosophy is popular because of political uncertainty.
“I think it shows you that people are skeptical about what's going to happen with our economy going forward and I think they're being very conservative not putting on extra people and then having to have big layoffs after the holiday season. People do not know what to expect for the new party coming in. They have high expectations, they voted, but now they're waiting to see what are those changes going to be and how drastic are they going to be,” said Brown,

Brown isn't the only local employer who increased hours for part-timers instead of adding new employees…

Store managers at Dothan’s JCPenney and Target stores had similar philosophies this season.

Despite the high unemployment rate, the stock market remains un-phased.

The DOW was up 20 points at the end of the day.


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