Economy

As southern workers quit in record number, restaurants struggle to meet demands

Wages have gone up as restaurants try to hold onto their staff amid a record number of people quitting their jobs in the U.S., especially in the South.

Want to help after Hurricane Ida? Southern charities say the best way is giving people cash

Charities in Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana say giving people money is faster and gives them back agency. But experts say cash alone can’t solve all the problems after a storm.

Birmingham hosts the Morehouse Tuskegee Classic for the first time

The oldest football rivalry among historically black colleges has made its way to Birmingham. Tuskegee University and Morehouse College will have their first game in the Magic City.

A new stadium has been a 35-year conversation in Birmingham. It’s finally here

The UAB Blazers will play Saturday, the first event in Protective Stadium.

Pay, Workers Increase In Hospitality Industry, But Some Restaurants Still Face Shortage

Labor data shows recent increases in wages and workers in Alabama’s leisure and hospitality industry, though the number of workers has not reached pre-pandemic levels and some restaurants still are scrambling to hire help. One Birmingham restaurateur says he’s still dealing with major staffing shortages. “It’s crazy … I work more now than I did […]

COVID Drives Up Costs At Jefferson County Jails

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office asked for more money during the final weeks of the 2020 fiscal year. The apparent reason was a hefty cleaning bill at the two county jails. But commissioners learned that increased expenses for feeding prisoners brought on by pandemic protocols contributed to the large request.

Despite Record Number On The Road, Women Truck Drivers Still Face Barriers Getting Into Industry

Experts say trucking can lift women out of poverty, but barriers like lack of access to child care keep them out.

How Historic Food Stamps Boost Will Bring Relief To Southern Families: ‘This Is A Really Big Deal’

Experts say the 25% increase will make huge strides in combating hunger, especially in The South. Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi will get an additional $950 million from SNAP estimated for this next fiscal year.

HUD Secretary Touts ‘Millions And Millions Of Dollars’ Coming To Birmingham For Infrastructure

One day after the Senate passed a $1 trillion infrastructure bill, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge visited Birmingham Wednesday.

Amazon Warehouse Workers In Alabama May Get To Vote Again On Union

A federal labor official found that Amazon's anti-union tactics may have tainted last spring's voting process sufficiently to scrap its results. Workers had rejected unionization more than 2-to-1.

As The Clock Runs Out On $300 Unemployment Benefits, A New Orleans Waitress Is Left In Limbo

The tips Dora Whitfield earned at Harrah’s Casino covered her bills. But like a lot of workers, returning to work isn’t as simple as following the help wanted signs.

Developer Partners with Tuskegee Students, Minority-Owned Contractors To Revitalize Old American Red Cross Building

The building has been vacant for 21 years and is poised to offer a more affordable option for living in downtown Birmingham.

Shipt Founder, Bill Smith, Brings His Latest Startup To Birmingham

Landing, an apartment rental company, will relocate it headquarters to Birmingham, creating more than 800 new jobs.

Alabama Coal Workers Strike For Better Wages, Fair Treatment

The strike has gone on for more than two months with no resolution in sight.

How One Utility In The Mississippi Delta Is Using Teamwork To Keep Faucets Flowing

Water providers in some rural communities across the region often fail to deliver clean and reliable water. Black Bayou Water Association is addressing that issue by connecting small utilities.

Will The Gulf Coast Amtrak Line Ever Leave The Station?

Plans for a passenger line connecting New Orleans with Mobile are underway, but opposition from the freight train industry could derail the service – and possibly President Joe Biden’s vision for an Amtrak resurgence.

Hack Exposes Vulnerability Of America’s Energy Supply Lines

Colonial Pipeline shut down its 5,500-mile pipeline on Friday after a ransomware attack. The pipeline made news back in 2016 after a gasoline spill in Shelby County. Some say it takes major events to bring attention to the pipeline's vulnerabilities.

Governor Shuts Down Extra Help For The Unemployed, Says Workers Needed To Invigorate The Economy

Alabama will stop participating in all federally funded pandemic unemployment compensation programs beginning June 19. Gov. Kay Ivey says she made the decision because of the increasing difficulty of business owners and employers to find workers to fill jobs.

Big Union Loss At Amazon Warehouse Casts Shadow Over Labor Movement

Last week's overwhelming vote against forming a union at Amazon's Bessemer warehouse was the latest in a string of disappointments for labor unions. Now Amazon employees and union backers are trying to find a way forward.

Alabama Amazon Workers Reject Union, But Organizers Say The Fight Isn’t Over

The union accused Amazon of illegal anti-union tactics and will challenge the results.

Why Alabama Lawmakers Just Won’t Give Up The Grocery Tax

Politicians across the aisle agree that grocery taxes harm low-income families. And yet the tax remains untouched.

What Labor Wins And Losses In The South Can Tell Us About the Amazon Union Vote

The unionization effort at the Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Ala. may seem like a once-in-a-lifetime chance for a big union win in the South. Yet union organizers had a nearly-identical opportunity just four years ago in Mississippi.

Dozens Rally To Support Amazon Union in Bessemer

The upcoming union vote is significant for Amazon, which has fought efforts to unionize, and the region as a whole.

Union Election At Amazon Warehouse Set For February 8

About 6,000 Amazon workers from the fulfillment center in Bessemer will begin voting next month on whether to unionize.

Alabama Labor Department Discontinues In-Person Unemployment Assistance

Labor officials cite safety concerns as the primary reason for moving to a phone-based system.

Federal Regulators To Set Election Date On Amazon Union

Employees at Amazon's Bessemer warehouse want to unionize, but the online retail giant opposes those efforts.

Demand For Bikes & Outdoor Gear Surges During Pandemic

The pandemic has driven many people outdoors, but finding the right gear could be a challenge.

Restaurants Are Hardest Hit As Businesses Try To Rebound From Pandemic

Some restaurants in Birmingham are working to regain a loss in revenue after forced closures during the pandemic. Meanwhile, other restaurants like Babalu and Lucy's Coffee & Tea weren't so lucky - closing their doors indefinitely.

Alabama Is In ‘Survival Mode’ Says University Of Alabama Economist

One economist says the country's deficit isn't as important as surviving the pandemic. He's advocating for renewed extra unemployment checks, injection $1 trillion a month into the country's budget and issuing another round of stimulus checks to working Americans.

Birmingham Gives Tax Breaks For UAB-Area Student Apartment Project, Commission Expected To Follow Suit

The company building a seven-story student housing development near UAB received permission from the city this week to forgo some property and sale taxes for the project. The county is now set to hear a similar request later this week.

Business Capital, Knowledge Remains Out Of Reach For Many Minority Entrepreneurs

None of the Black-owned businesses in 4th Avenue and Civil Rights commercial districts have gone out of business because of the pandemic.

With End Of $600 Unemployment Benefit, Groups Expect Surge In Evictions, Homelessness

As Congress debates another stimulus package, many Alabama residents will now see their weekly unemployment checks drop to less than $300.