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Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - 12:49pm

Forecaster: Georgia's Unemployment Rate Will Worsen

Although the national economy is showing signs of improvement, Georgia’s employment outlook appears dismal into next year. That’s what UGA’s economic forecaster Robert Sumichrast sees in the state’s future.

"Our unemployment rate is very likely to rise at least into the first half of 2010 even as we're creating jobs. It just won't keep up with increases in number of people in the workforce."

Sumichrast predicts the unemployment rate could reach 11 percent, possibly higher. October's rate was 10.2 percent.

But Sumichrast says job losses will turn a corner in the Spring. He cites government jobs at Fort Benning, more jobs at the ports with trade picking up, and more construction work with an up-tick in single family home building.

In general, Georgia’s economic recovery will lag the nation’s, says Sumichrast, because of the state’s heavy investment in real estate.

But he says once that evens out, the state could be outperforming the nation three years from now because of its ability to attract new business and its strong port presence.

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