Unemployment ups and downs
On Friday, just scant days before the General Election, Rutherford County received some of the first good news regarding unemployment it has received in months.
According to the North Carolina Department of Employment Security, the unemployment rate in Rutherford County slid 1.7 percent to 12.5 percent overall.
Now, while that still leaves a lot of work to be done to get employees back to work in the county, it can send several different indicators to area residents.
It can mean that employers are looking to hire and, with seasonal employment season on the horizon, that can mean more jobs for more county residents.
Then again, it could mean absolutely nothing.
The same is true for the General Election.
Some can speculate that the unemployment data released on Friday could have an affect on voters heading to the polls on Tuesday.
Across the state, 97 of the 100 counties saw a decrease in its unemployment rate but, depending on your political persuasion, that can mean a lot of different things.
And, whether the good news regarding unemployment will sway an election is difficult to say.
One thing is certain, Tuesday's election winner will certainly get a lot of credit for any future upswing in the economy that we might see.
To us, it isn't a question of who wins the presidential election or even the gubernatorial election in North Carolina on Tuesday because, regardless of whether the next President is Barack Obama or Mitt Romney, any kind of life breathed into the state and local economy is a welcome sign.
Now, we can't get too wrapped up in trying to decipher the numbers released on Friday and what that might mean for the future of employment in Rutherford County.
We all hope that the recent report means that we might finally be seeing that economic recovery that everyone has been talking about for some time now.
But, we have to be cautious because there can be unforeseen obstacles on the road to economic development.
If you have doubts, just look to what occurred here on the East Coast this week with Hurricane — or superstorm — Sandy. Pundits say that the storm will not have a lasting effect on the nation's economy, but pundits have been known to be wrong from time to time.
Just remember this, we cannot take the recent numbers with a grain of salt because they do have meaning. However, we can't be surprised if we see more ups and downs regarding unemployment over the future as we try to navigate a road to economic recovery in Rutherford County.
By Matthew Clark, for the Editorial Board
The Daily Courier Editorial Board consists of community members Jerry Brewer, Kyle Bingham, Tom Padgett, Dr. Shermaine Surratt and Cliff Strassenburg as well as Editor Matthew Clark