Economy recovers, but some say hurdles remain

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -  Depending on who you ask the economic recovery has either begun, or is barely getting off the ground.

"Last year was horrible for all of us, we kind of made it happen and made it work, it has just picked up," said Nicole Means, publisher of Montgomery Spotlight Magazine.

"I say it's about the same, definitely stagnant," said Greg Schafer, a small business owner in Montgomery.

And since many businesses continue to struggle, many cities and counties are struggling to balance their budgets.  Sales tax receipts are down in Pike County, and commissioners could only offer employees a small cost of living raise.  One commissioner says this year's budget caused him to lose sleep.  

"You try to satisfy everybody, and it's impossible to satisfy everybody, said Commissioner Homer Wright.  "So we did what we thought was best for the employees and do what was best for the people of Pike County."
Dr. David Bronner, the head of the Retirement Systems of Alabama, told business leaders in Montgomery on Wednesday that  the overall economy is slowly improving. However, he said the unemployment rate remains a giant hurdle.

"I was really hoping this June or July would turn it around, and it sort of look liked it in April or May," Dr. Bronner said.  "But my guesstimate is the earliest you turn it around on the unemployment side is April or May of 2011, the spring of 2011 or 2012."

And until that happens, some say the recovery won't be complete.

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