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Thursday, November 21, 2013 - 7:25am

Jobs Are Growing Faster In Georgia

Rajeev Dhawan, Director of the Economic Forecasting Center at Georgia State University, says the state has seen a 2.3 percent year -over-year job growth rate, compared to 1.7 percent nationally.

But in his quarterly forecast, he warns that concern over gridlock in Washington will prevent the Georgia economy from really taking off in 2014.

“Given the political dysfunction and uncertainty in D.C., it will not accelerate in ‘14. That doesn’t mean it’s going to be bad. And the real acceleration comes in ‘15. But so far, we will maintain the gains, we just won’t be able to keep on adding to it.” he stressed.

He says some sectors- professional and business services, transportation and hospitality- have recovered all the jobs lost during the recession.

But others, most of which are high-paying such as manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, finance, information and state and local government, are still lagging. He found that the healthcare and education sectors never stopped growing in Georgia.

Rajiv Dhawan

Rajeev Dhawan, the director of the Economic Forecasting Center at Georgia State University, warns that concern over politics in Washington will prevent the state economy from taking off next year. (Photo Credit: Ellen Reinhardt)

Dhawan says the state lost more jobs during the recession than the national average. So even though he predicts Georgia will gain nearly 85 thousand jobs this year, that still won’t make up for all the lost ground. But he predicts that will change in 2015.

“It will happen by ’15, provided we do not have a debt ceiling breach or a long shutdown in D.C., or total chaos on the political level.”

Dhawan believes Georgia's average unemployment rate for 2013 will turn out to have been 8.5 percent, and will drop to 8.2 percent next year. He also predicts that the state jobless rate will drop to 7.3 percent in 2015.

Dhawan expects salaries, which have been stagnant in Georgia, will start to rise. His quarterly forecast predicts that nominal personal income will rise 2.6 percent this year, grow by 4.8 percent in 2014 and increase by 5 percent in 2015.