The Herald Bulletin

September 27, 2013

Businesses are on the rebound, but employment is still down

Government bureau reports loss of 854 jobs in Madison County

By Traci L. Moyer The Herald Bulletin
The Herald Bulletin

---- — ANDERSON — While city officials are reporting a rebound when it comes to business, employment numbers in the county are down, according to a new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Across the county, employment has dropped 2.2 percent between March 2013 and March 2012.

Greg Winkler, economic development director for the city, said the numbers released Thursday should be weighed carefully against Anderson’s recent progress.

“This is a work in progress,” he said. “Anderson did not get where it is today in just a couple of years. The process of decline where General Motors pulled out took a number of years. If it took us 25 years to get to that point, it is probably going to take at least half of that to get back to where we were.”

Madison County’s numbers are similar to the employment figures reported for the county for the same time span in 2010. According to the study, there are 2,304 businesses in the county compared to 2010, when there were 2,298.

Across the nation, employment was 132.3 million, which was up 1.6 percent or 2.1 million over the year reported.

The county is employing fewer people, however, for that same time period. In 2010, there were 38,473 people employed, according to the bureau’s report. In March, there were only 37,497 — a loss of 854 jobs from 2012 to 2013.

Winkler said he expects the numbers being reported to change as new businesses being constructed or relocating to the area become fully functional.

The study also reported only marginal increases in salaries. In 2012, the average weekly wage was $662. In 2013, the average salary was $673.

Nationally, the average weekly wage increased over the year by 0.6 percent to $989 in the first quarter of 2013. San Mateo, Calif., had the largest over-the-year increase in average weekly wages with a gain of 14.8 percent. Within San Mateo, an average weekly wage gain of $2,996 or 104.1 percent. Williamson, Texas, experienced the largest decrease in average weekly wages with a loss of 13.4 percent over the year being reported.

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At a glance Madison County employment and wages Businesses Employed Avg. Weekly Wage Q1 2013 2,304 37,497 $673 Q1 2012 2,316 38,351 $662 Q1 2011 2,325 37,920 $634 Q1 2010 2,298 38,473 $571 Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics