Presented by the
Alabama League of Municipalities
1. Despite low unemployment, state’s economy suffers from workforce participation slump
- Alabama’s 3.1% unemployment rate is the lowest in the Southeast and among the lowest in the country. State leaders have repeatedly pointed to this impressive mark as a sign of the state’s economic recovery from the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw unemployment soar to nearly 14% last year.
- Yet, employers across the state are struggling to find enough workers to fill jobs, forcing some to cut back business hours or production.
- Why the economic disparity? It could have to do with the number of Alabamians actually participating in the workforce, a figure that has shrunk during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Alabama’s most recent labor force participation rate, which measures those who are working or seeking work, was 56.6% for August 2021, down slightly from the pre-pandemic level of 57.9% in August 2019, according to the Alabama Department of Labor. That represents about 31,490 people exiting the state’s workforce in a two year span.
- State and industry leaders are starting to dig deeper into these numbers to figure out why there are so many unfilled jobs in the state.
- Read the full feature story from Caroline Beck HERE.
2. Long-serving State Rep. Victor Gaston won’t seek reelection
- State Rep. Victor Gaston, R-Mobile, the Speaker Pro Tem of the Alabama House of Representatives and one of the longest-serving members of the Legislature, will not seek reelection in 2022.
- In an announcement Monday, Gaston said the timing was right to end his career in the Legislature and give others an opportunity to lead.
- “Representing the citizens of west Mobile in the Alabama House has been my distinct honor and pleasure for the past 40 years, but the time has come to step off the public stage and pass the mantle of leadership to someone else,” Gaston said. “It is important to note that serving in this office for so many years was possible only because of the unconditional love, support, and commitment given to me by my late wife of 46 years, Jean, and my sons, Hank and George.”
- First elected to the House in 1982, Gaston was one of only 11 Republicans – eight state representatives and three state senators – who served in the 140-member Alabama Legislature back then.
- Praise and congratulations for a distinguished public service career came from Alabama’s top officials upon news of Gaston’s decision to retire, including Gov. Kay Ivey and Speaker Mac McCutcheon.
- Read the full story HERE.
A message from the
Alabama League of Municipalities
- Municipalities are the foundation of Alabama’s economy. The Alabama League of Municipalities was formed in 1935 and currently represents more than 450 member municipalities.
- Year after year, the League works to secure legislation enabling all cities and towns to perform their functions more efficiently and effectively; offers specialized training for both municipal officials and employees; and conducts continuing studies of the legislative, administrative and operational needs, problems and functions of Alabama’s municipal governments.
- For more information, visit almonline.org.
3. FDA panel endorses booster shot for J&J COVID-19 vaccine
- U.S. health advisers endorsed a booster of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine Friday, citing concern that Americans who got the single-dose shot aren’t as protected as those given two-dose brands.
- J&J told the Food and Drug Administration that an extra dose adds important protection as early as two months after initial vaccination — but that it might work better if people wait until six months later. Unable to settle the best timing, the FDA’s advisory panel voted unanimously that the booster should be offered at least two months after people got their earlier shot.
- “I think this frankly was always a two-dose vaccine,” said FDA adviser Dr. Paul Offit of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “It would be hard to recommend this as a single-dose vaccine at this point.”
- The FDA isn’t bound by the recommendation as it makes a final decision — and adding to the debate’s complexity, new research also suggests that J&J recipients might have a stronger immune response if their booster dose is from a competing brand.
- Read more HERE.
4. Crunch time: Biden, Dems face critical next 2 weeks for agenda
- President Joe Biden is entering a crucial two weeks for his ambitious agenda, racing to conclude contentious congressional negotiations on a sweeping tax and spend plan.
- Biden and his fellow Democrats are struggling to bridge intraparty divides by month’s end to pass a bipartisan infrastructure bill and a larger social services package. The president hopes to nail down both before Air Force One lifts off for Europe on Oct. 28 for a pair of world leader summits, including the most ambitious climate change meeting in years.
- Biden is trying to stabilize his presidency after a difficult stretch marked by the tumultuous end of the Afghanistan war, a diplomatic spat with France and a surge in COVID-19 cases that rattled the nation’s economic recovery and sent his poll numbers tumbling.
- West Wing officials are still optimistic that an agreement will ultimately be struck, but there are also fears that the messy, drawn-out negotiation has clouded the tangible benefits of what Biden aims to deliver to voters.
- Full story HERE.
5. AP Top 25
- Cincinnati moved up to No. 2 behind Georgia in The Associated Press college football poll Sunday, the first time a team from outside the traditional power conferences has been ranked that high since 2010.
- The Bulldogs remained a unanimous No. 1 with 63 first-place votes. Oklahoma is No. 3, followed by Alabama and Ohio State.
- Auburn has rejoined the Top 25 at No. 19.
- Read more and see the full AP Top 25 HERE.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Despite low unemployment, state’s economy suffers from workforce participation slump
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Long-serving State Rep. Victor Gaston won’t seek reelection
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – FDA panel endorses booster shot for J&J COVID-19 vaccine
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Crunch time: Biden faces critical next 2 weeks for agenda
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Colin Powell has died of COVID-19 complications, family says
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Will Sellers: The Perpetual Winner
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – AP Top 25: Cincinnati up to No. 2; Purdue snaps poll drought
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Who’s running? 2022 Alabama House races update
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Biden open to trimming $3.5T spending plan
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – State school board prohibits teaching of Critical Race Theory
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Gina Maiola named Ivey’s Communications Director
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – New documentary examines life of Alabama native Helen Keller
AL.COM – John Meredith, son of Civil Rights icon, elected president of Huntsville council
AL.COM – Alabama to unveil monument to educators ‘lost to COVID’
AL.COM – Columnist Kyle Whitmire: Forget it, Texas. Alabama is still Best in Show
AL.COM – The Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham evolves to statewide movement for Alabama women
AL.COM – Mo Brooks trails in Senate fundraising, blames special interest groups
AL.COM – Alabama school food shortages continue, state working on it ‘every day’
Montgomery Advertiser – State investigating shooting by Montgomery Police Department officer
Montgomery Advertiser – Auburn’s Coach Bruce Pearl to speak Oct. 21 at Frazer
Montgomery Advertiser – Fatal Montgomery County crash claims life of Luverne man on U.S. 331 North
Decatur Daily – Morgan Child Advocacy Center gives kids ‘safe place to talk about their abuse’
Decatur Daily – Homes along Sixth Avenue improving as city awaits streetscape plan
Decatur Daily – Causes of state labor shortage debated
Times Daily – State’s economy suffering from labor shortage
Times Daily – Pump donation will help Alabama Forestry Commission
Times Daily – Registration open for Nov. 6 fiber art workshop
Anniston Star – Piedmont City School System might teach experts a thing or two
Anniston Star – Veterans of Chemical Battalion and Company enjoy their first-ever reunion
Anniston Star – Lobsterfest returns with curbside delivery only
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Doctors say masks still needed this Halloween
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – UPDATE: Arrest made in deadly shooting of 13-year-old boy in Tuscaloosa
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Hospital conditions improving, but patients may still see some delays
Tuscaloosa News – Mercedes seeking hundreds of new workers for Tuscaloosa, Bibb county plants
Tuscaloosa News – 50th Annual Kentuck Festival of the Arts took a community-wide effort
Tuscaloosa News – Bonfire, parade will return as University of Alabama celebrates homecoming
YellowHammer News – UAH, Spelman College join in research to improve air quality monitoring
YellowHammer News – Alabama’s ULA successfully launches exploration mission for NASA
YellowHammer News – State Health Officer Harris on possible anti-vaccine mandate legislation: ‘Don’t want to send a message that we need to protect Alabamians from being vaccinated’
Gadsden Times – Motorcycle crash in DeKalb County claims life of woman
Gadsden Times – St. James Catholic School to host 34th $10,000 Give-A-Way
Gadsden Times – Mueller shooting aftermath: Public meeting slated about distribution of survivor funds
Dothan Eagle – Betty Lynn, Thelma Lou on ‘The Andy Griffith Show,’ has died
Dothan Eagle – World shares mostly lower as Chinese growth data disappoints
Dothan Eagle – New technology offers anonymous way to report abuse, doping
Opelika-Auburn News – Crunch time: Biden faces critical next 2 weeks for agenda
Opelika-Auburn News – Some protesters have broken into flame lighting site in Ancient Olympia to protest China’s hosting of 2022 Winter Games
Opelika-Auburn News – Indonesia, Malaysia concerned about Australia’s nuclear subs
WSFA Montgomery – Flag retirement ceremony closes out Alabama National Fair
WSFA Montgomery – UPDATE: Arrest made in deadly shooting of 13-year-old boy in Tuscaloosa
WSFA Montgomery – Alabama National Fair implements new attendance policy
WAFF Huntsville – Remembering Dr. Richard Showers
WAFF Huntsville – Huntsville Police Department honors fallen officers
WAFF Huntsville – Lawrence County woman hospitalized after brutal Pit bull attack
WKRG Mobile – UPDATE: Arrest made in barricade situation in Baldwin County
WKRG Mobile – UK prime minister to lead tributes for murdered lawmaker
WKRG Mobile – Protestors disrupt flame lighting for Beijing Winter Games
WTVY Dothan – Investigation underway after shooting, fatal car crash in Houston County
WTVY Dothan – Child, two others shot; police plead for information
WTVY Dothan – Betty Lynn, ‘Andy Griffith Show’ cast member, dies at 95
WASHINGTON POST – Ahmaud Arbery’s killing changed his Georgia community. Now three men will stand trial for murder.
WASHINGTON POST – In allied capitals, a nuanced, cautious view of Biden
WASHINGTON POST – Fauci urges police officers to get vaccinated as union protests heat up
NEW YORK TIMES – Threats, Resignations and 100 New Laws: Why Public Health Is in Crisis
NEW YORK TIMES – China’s Economy Continues to Slow, Rattled by Real Estate and Energy
NEW YORK TIMES – As Rents Rise, So Do Pressures on People at Risk of Eviction
WALL STREET JOURNAL – China Faces Slower Growth Path as It Pursues Longer-Term Reforms
WALL STREET JOURNAL – Members of Congressional Committee Question Whether Amazon Executives Misled Congress
WALL STREET JOURNAL – GOP Sees Opening as Biden Copes With Pre-Christmas Inflation, Supply-Chain Issues
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