UA in the News: July 10, 2012
July 10, 2012 - Filed under: UA in the News
Slow recovery has economists rethinking Alabama’s economic growth for 2012
Mobile Press-Register – July 9
Despite the recent announcement that Airbus will open a factory in Mobile, Alabama is struggling to boost output and employment amid continued national and global economic weakness, according to the University of Alabama’s Center for Business and Economic Research. Growth in the state’s economy in the first half of 2012 was weaker than expected, causing UA economists to lower their expectations for 2012 as a whole. The CBER also anticipates real Gross Domestic Product growth of about 2 percent for the year, down from a forecast of 2.5 percent in the previous quarter. The CBER predicts about 10,000 jobs could be created across Alabama this year, a gain of about .5 percent, and job growth is expected to strengthen in 2013. Businesses in transportation equipment manufacturing, leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, retail trade, and healthcare services have been the major sources of job creation so far this year, while the government sector has been hit hardest by job loss. From May 2011 to May 2012, state government cut 7,200 workers and local government employment dropped by 2,100. About 4,700 education positions also were cut over the same period. Despite these losses, the jobs picture appears to be stabilizing in most Alabama metro areas in recent months, according to the CBER.
Birmingham Business Journal – July 9
WLTZ-NBC (Columbus, Ga.) – July 9
Gulf oil spill had dramatic impact on microscopic life, study suggests
Mobile Press-Register – July 10
Months after BP PLC capped the gushing well in the Gulf of Mexico and crews had cleared oil from coast, Alabama’s beaches looked like they had returned to normal. New research by an Auburn University professor and other scientists, though, suggests that significant changes had taken place in creatures too small to be seen by the naked eye. Those changes, professor Ken Halanych said, bear further study and could have big impacts that might not become apparent for years … Halanych said the long-term effects are unknown but potentially dramatic, since the organisms that lost ground after the spill form the base of the food chain. He pointed to the collapse of the herring population in Prince William Sound after the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska. That collapse, which did not occur until several years after the 1989 spill, has been traced to changes at the microscopic level. “When you change the ecosystem, all these things have a ripple effect,” he said. “Some of these effects can take years to develop.” Patricia Sobecky, the chairwoman of the Biological Sciences Department at the University of Alabama, said the study sheds new light on a Gulf environment that many scientists contend has received too little attention. “What they reported is completely in line with what you would expect,” said Sobecky, who was not part of the research. “How to interpret that is going to the tricky part.”
UA political scientist and tax law professor weigh in on tax breaks
WVUA (Tuscaloosa) – July 9
President Obama said today he will ask congress to extend tax breaks, but only for those families earning less than $250,000 a year. Those earning more than $250K would see their cuts end after this year, a move that Republicans contend would mean a massive tax increase … What does all this mean and how will it affect Alabamians in the boting booth? … Jim Bryce, professor of tax law at the University of Alabama says that all Americans could see a tax increase, regardless. “Everybody from the lowest income to the highest income is going to take a tax increase because of the elimination of the 10 percent tax bracket. But congress could modify the law to include some additional tax breaks. But if they structure this to protect the middle class, there will have to be some complicated rules whereby if your income doesn’t exceed something like 250 then you still get the 10 percent.”
Town of Pike Road to partner with UA’s Center for Economic Development
CBS 8 (Montgomery) – July 9
The town of Pike Road will soon start a project they hope will help their economic future. The Pike Road town council voted tonight to partner with the University of Alabama Center for Economic Development to develop a report detailing best management practices for fiscal responsibility. The group will study five principles presented by a citizens group to the council, and compare that to the practices of similar municipalities in the southeast. The report will help guide the town in establishing future financial management practices.
Camp for kids with diabetes held at UA
WVUA (Tuscaloosa) – July 9
More than 13,000 young people are diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes each year, and that’s where “Camp Sugar Falls” is lending a helping hand. Camp Sugar Falls is a day camp for children with diabetes. It kicked off today at the University of Alabama student recreation center. It’s sponsored by the West Alabama Extension of Southeastern Diabetes Education Services. Not only are campers learning about living with diabetes, they are also having a little fun by rock climbing, swimming and doing arts and crafts.
CBS 42 (Birmingham) – July 9
The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.