Monday, February 15, 2010

Unemployment: When will it Change?

Unemployment is the topic on everyone's mind since the recent fall of the economy. At 12 percent, Tampa's unemployment rate is beating the 10 percent National unemployment average. However, things seem to be on the up and up according to President Obama's speech stating that the economy will grow by 95,000 jobs a month in the next year.

Although slow, this turn around will begin to put a dent in the unemployment rate, but it will not be until the year 2015 that the unemployment rate will fall below 6 percent.

We are not out of the dark yet. There is stil a lot of work to be done. Reports say that Americans will face more economic woes, such as home foreclosures before there is a noticeable turnaround.

The recent job bill currently in the works in Congress has four key components. I've listed them below for those of you who aren't familiar:

* Payroll tax holiday. Companies that hire people when have been unemployed for at least 0 days won't have to pay certain payroll taxes this year.

* Highways spending. The bill extends that Highways Trust Fund through the end of 2010.

* Local bonds subsidies. The federal government would keep subsidizing state and local government bonds for projects such as local schools.

* Small business deductions: The bill makes it easier and faster for small businesses to make tax- deductible expenses.

A procedural vote of this bill will be taken this month, February 22.

All well and good. But what does this bill mean for Tampa. Well, the $819 billion stimulus bill, which has been passed by the House but is under review by the senate, allows for Tampa to be able to modernize schools, improve roads, and expand healthcare.

The bill would provide much needed jobs and help decrease the high unemployment rate int eh Bay area. The total shares for the state of Florida included in the bill break down are:

  • Six billion for education to build new schools and bring in better technology.
  • Four billion for healthcare to expand Medicaid and provide healthcare for kids.
  • Two billion to help the roadways, including Interstate 275 and I-4 connector.
  • 900 million to temporarily expand food stamps.
This bill certainly helps brighten the future for many people in Florida and specifically the Tampa Bay community. However, it is not approved yet. There is still a lot to consider. For many, changes won't be noticeable for at least five years and there are so many people in need right now. However, it is something. It is a step in the right direction for an economy that has been suffering for a while now. I think we can all agree on one thing, it is absolutely time for a positive change.

What do you think? Is this a bill that needs to be approved? Or is there something else that we need to do to improve the economic situation? Leave your comments so I an post for others to read.

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