The State of Working Alabama 2010
Like this summer's BP oil disaster, the Great Recession started for many Alabamians as something far away and impersonal. Then the disaster hit Alabama, and it hit hard. The resulting devastation was far-reaching, with scars that could last for decades even as things begin to return to normal.
Hard cash: Predatory lending in Alabama
On busy highways and run-down streets across the state, you can't miss them -- big, bright signs promising easy money. From payday loans to refund anticipation loans to title pawns, Alabamians face a dizzying array of credit services designed to trap consumers in financial quicksand. This updated fact sheet provides new information on predatory lending in Alabama.
Stuck: Low-wage jobs are holding Alabama back
No matter what lies ahead for Alabama's economy, a high school diploma is no longer a ticket for employment. We emphasize this point with students, but we leave underprepared adults in the lurch. And it will require more than just each year's crop of high school graduates to meet the new economy's demands. Effective workforce development [...]
A sense of scale: Small businesses in Alabama
Lawmakers often debate how a bill would affect small businesses, but no single official definition of "small business" exists. What are small businesses, anyway? How are they taxed in Alabama? And do small businesses survive or fail because of taxes, or do other factors play larger roles? This fact sheet answers these questions and more.
Big piece of a small pie: Alabama’s tax paradox
If you talk to a low-income Alabamian about the state's tax system, you're liable to hear two things. One is a boast that the state has some of the nation's lowest taxes. The other is a complaint that, nevertheless, the person pays too much in taxes. The statements may sound contradictory, but both are grounded in [...]
The State of Working Alabama 2009
The economic recession took longer to crash the party in Alabama than in many other states. But once it did arrive in late 2008, it made its presence known swiftly and severely. Alabama once boasted a far lower unemployment rate than the national average. Now it has one of the highest. Despite a decade of solid [...]
The State of Working Alabama 2008
What if this is as good as it gets? That's a question many Alabama workers may ask themselves in the near future as this year's national economic slump continues. The state's economy has been healthy in a number of areas since the business cycle last peaked in 2001. The unemployment level is below the national and [...]
Locked Out: Low wages and affordable housing in Alabama
This 2008 report examines the shortage of appropriate, adequate and affordable housing in Alabama.
Bridging the Gap
From the Tennessee Valley to the Gulf Coast, Alabamians share a strong work ethic and a deep commitment to individual responsibility. They go to work each day, pay their taxes, participate in the lives of their communities, and nurture their children. But for many, the promise that hard work will provide a good living for them [...]
IDAs: Building assets to break the chains of poverty
With just a small investment in a federally sponsored asset-building strategy known as Individual Development Accounts (IDAs), Alabama could help hundreds of low-income workers break the chains of poverty by saving for education, housing or entrepreneurship. This fact sheet explains how IDAs work, how they're funded and how Alabama can move forward with this innovative program.