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Wednesday, November 30, 2011 - 3:00am

Forecast: State Economy Remains Bleak

A University of Georgia economic forecast said Georgia is likely to start regaining jobs next year, but not enough to reduce its unemployment rate.

Meanwhile, the chances of a recession next year are 45 percent, according to Jeff Humphreys, director of the university’s Selig Center for Economic Growth.

Robert Sumichrast, dean of the university's Terry College of Business, said Tuesday at a presentation in Atlanta that Georgia political and business leaders should focus on luring established companies and encouraging new ones that have promise.

Sumichrast said Georgia will lose 25,000 jobs this year before reversing a trend that began in 2008 and regaining 18,000 jobs next year.

Georgia employment peaked in February 2008 at 4,157,500. Since then, the state has lost 357,400 jobs.