Jobless Alabamians react to State of the Union

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - By Emily Luxen

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - As President Barack Obama gave his State of the Union address, thousands of unemployed Alabamians listened to his plans to improve the economy.

Birmingham Southern College's political analyst Dr. Natalie Davis said jobs and the economy are the biggest issues facing the country right now. So it is not surprising President Obama focused on those topics during his speech.

"His argument is simple," said Dr. Davis. "We invest in education and innovation and we create jobs and better paying jobs down the road. That is his case."

Birmingham area residents who fill the Alabama Career Center working on resumes and looking for jobs say they are encouraged by President Obama's approach and think the economy is improving.

"Places are taking applications again, which I think is a positive sign," said Michael Clayton, who is looking for a job, "In the spring, maybe there will be a big turnaround."

Alabama's unemployment rate is at 9.1% and many people who are looking for jobs said the situation has become frustrating. "It has been really tough. I am optimistic it will get better," said job-seeker, William Simonton.
Dr. Davis said while there are some signs the economy is improving, like new jobs, and a stronger stock market, President Obama will still have a hard time convincing people the economy is on the mend.

"We are divided on the President," said Dr. Davis. "The left is disappointed he hasn't done enough with creating jobs, but on the right there is nothing he can say that can satisfy some people."

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