The government says the jobless rate last month fell in half the states, increased in 14 and stayed the same in 11 states. Economist Stuart Hoffman says the numbers aren't good, but do help to calm concerns about a double dip recession.
The number of private sector jobs has increased in North Carolina, but deep cuts to the government work force have caused the state's unemployment rate to tick upward in September to 10.5 percent. South Carolina's unemployment rate fell slightly in September to 11 percent.
State Fair Concludes with Mock Tobacco Auction
The North Carolina State fair wrapped up its 11-day run on Sunday. One of the highlights of the State Fair is the mock tobacco auction hosted by Ag Commissioner Steve Troxler. This year a group of Chinese tobacco buyers attended who are in town to purchase leaf grown in the state. The group is being escorted by Paul Chang:
"They were very interested to see that auction in this way"
Of course, auctioning tobacco is part of a by-gone era, going the way of the quota system some 9 years ago now. Chang says the group comes to North Carolina every year to purchase leaf and ship it back to China:
"They come every year, since 2005. Every year they do buy quite a bit, quantity of tobacco from us."
Upwards of 10,000 metric tons to be exact. Chang says that good, old fashioned southern hospitality goes a long way for these buyers:
"They think they're being treated nicely. So, I think that's very important." A little southern hospitality goes a long way, "Definitely! They enjoy it."
Superfund Common-Sense Act Introduced
The Superfund Common-Sense Act of 2011 - S. 1729 - has been introduced in the U.S. Senate. Sponsored by Senators Roy Blunt of Missouri and Mike Crapo of Idaho, the act would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency and the courts from imposing what the policymakers call another - needless and burdensome - regulation on U.S. agriculture. A companion bill was introduced earlier in the House by Representative Billy Long of Missouri.
Exciting Day for Cattlemen as President Signs FTAs
On Friday, President Barack Obama signed the long-awaited implementation of Free Trade Agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea and the renewal of Trade Adjustment Assistance.
The beef industry has long worked toward this day. Bill Donald, president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, is understandably happy:
"Well, this is a great day for cattlemen all across the United States. With President Obama signing these long-awaited trade agreements. They've been negotiated for over five years and we were impressed that the Congress acted in such a bipartisan, rapid fashion to get them passed and we were asking the President to sign them and it's good news for America's cattlemen."