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Sears Closing Mobile Store

Sears has announced that they will be closing their Bel Air Mall location later this year. The store will begin a liquidation sale on July 17th. The Auto Center will also be closing. Sears is expected to remain open until August or September.

The store and Auto Center have around 100 employees. Some will be given severance or offered positions at other Sears or K-Mart locations.

Sears has been struggling for some time. The company was founded in 1886 as a mail order catalog. The first retail location opened in 1925. It was the largest retailer in the US until it was surpassed by Walmart in 1989. Sears was bought out by K-Mart in 2005.

Sears, like its parent company K-Mart, has struggled with competition. Walmart led the first wave of fatal blows, followed quickly by online retailers.

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Alabama Unemployment Rate Down To 6%

Alabama’s unemployment rate has once again fell, and now stands at 6%. This figure is down from 6.3% in October. The state is still slightly above the national average of 5.8%. Roughly 126,000 people remain unemployed in Alabama.

Overall, the national economy continues to grow, and unemployment continues to fall. While divided government in Washington could provide some roadblocks next year, a big budget battle was avoided this month as Congress passed a bipartisan bill to fund the government. Most economic metrics point to continued growth in 2015.

Mobile got a potential dose of good news with the White House’s decision to restore diplomatic ties with Cuba. If Congress takes the next step and kills the embargo, Mobile stands to profit handsomely due to its close proximity to the island nation. The city has one of the closest ports to Cuba. Trade, cruise ships, and much more could be coming if ties continue to deepen.