Signs of hope still not dashed
Wednesday did not provide the best of news for the nation or for Rutherford County.
The latest jobs report from the state showed that Rutherford County's unemployment rate increased almost a full percentage point to over 13 percent.
Of equal note, the US economy took a backward turn as the fourth quarter indicated a 0.1 percent decrease — the first time the economy has decreased since 2009.
Before a panic ensues, on the national front the economy is expected to grow about 2 percent this year due to the forecast of heavier housing and auto sales.
In Rutherford County, jobs at Valley Fine Foods and Horsehead have not hit the books yet but may start in 2013.
So, while the economic news might be a little dim, we are still not without hopes that better days are ahead.
However, one thing to keep in mind is that Congress has yet to fully wrangle with spending cuts and the debt ceiling.
With the political budget fights that are sure to happen, it is incumbent that our lawmakers find solutions to our economic situation to avoid the prospect of even a slight recession.
Spending cuts averted temporarily at the first of the year are still projected to take effect on March 1. If the debt ceiling is not raised, the federal government could face a shutdown by March 27.
The coming months will speak volumes as to the economic stability of our country.
Locally, job increases softened significantly in December which can be attributed to limited consumer spending over the holidays.
But, like we said, significant job announcements from two entities making their way into the county have yet to be made.
In addition, Manroy Defense Systems announced Tuesday a $600,000 expansion to its facility in Spindale that will bring 53 additional jobs to the area.
What we have to keep in mind is that while jobs and economic reports may not provide the greatest of news, jobs don't come the day after job announcements are made.
They take time, planning and effort before they become a reality.
Our message is to be patient and wait.
We all know the jobs are coming and, with that, a better jobs outlook for 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