Unemployment rate down again, businessman sees improving economy

Posted by Bryan Henry  -  bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - You could say business is a grind for shoe repairman Albert Dunn but you won't hear any complaints. Grinding away broken heels and replacing them new ones is all part of the job.

"Business has been picking up now," said Dunn who owns Brenner's Shoe Repair.

All the more reason why Dunn says he wasn't surprised when he learned Alabama's jobless rate dropped for the 5th consecutive month.

One year ago Alabama's jobless rate stood at 10.6%. As of September of this year, it's down to 8.9%. The national unemployment rate is 9.6%.

Governor Bob Riley says some of the drop can be attributed to the automobile manufacturing industry in Alabama.

Using their personal savings, Dunn and his brother bought the business over the summer knowing full well it was risky considering the fragile economy.

Still, Albert Dunn relied on a little faith and the fact he's been in the shoe business for 40 years.

In the last 6 months Dunn says his business has jumped 15% but he still faces economic challenges.

For instance, Dunn has several pairs of shoes on the table in front of his store, shoes that have been repaired but those customers have said they can't afford to pay Dunn.

The average repair job at Brenner's is $30.00

"I've called them and they say I ain't got the money so sell them," Dunn said.

Dunn is not in a position to hire anyone although he indicated that could come a little later.

Based on the drop in the unemployment rate, the state's economy at least seems to be improving a little.

For Albert Dunn that's good for the sole.

©2010 WSFA. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.