Augusta to replace lost jobs in 2012

Area could recover lost jobs next year

Friday, Dec. 9, 2011 4:16 PM
Last updated Saturday, Dec. 10, 2011 12:20 AM
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Mark Vitner, a managing director and senior economist at Wells Fargo, speaks during the Augusta Regional Economic Outlook. The 2,100 metro Augusta jobs lost in 2011 should be replaced next year, he said.  Emily Rose Bennett/Staff
Emily Rose Bennett/Staff
Mark Vitner, a managing director and senior economist at Wells Fargo, speaks during the Augusta Regional Economic Outlook. The 2,100 metro Augusta jobs lost in 2011 should be replaced next year, he said.

Georgia will continue to lag behind the nation’s economic growth in 2012, but both the state and Augusta will add jobs in the coming year, economists predicted Friday.

The 2,100 metro Augusta jobs lost in 2011 are expected to be replaced next year, said Mark Vitner, a managing director and senior economist at Wells Fargo. He was doubtful, however, that the reported job loss numbers are accurate reflections of economic activity.

“I’m highly suspicious about how negative some of the employment numbers are because it just doesn’t seem to match what my eyes are seeing,” Vitner said.

He delivered the local outlook at the annual Augusta Regional Economic Outlook at the Augusta Marriott at the Convention Center. Robert Sumichrast, the dean of the University of Georgia Terry College of Business, presented the state forecast for about 250 executives and city leaders.

Relatively small layoffs should have been offset by increased activity in the metro area, especially large job creation projects at Plant Vogtle in Burke County and the Bridgestone tire plant in Graniteville, Vitner said. The employment numbers likely will be revised when new reports are released in February, he said.

Georgia is expected to add 18,000 jobs, the first increase since losing 250,000 jobs in 2009, Sumichrast said. Slow economic growth and a slight chance of recession will closely resemble the past few years, he said.

“If we continue to grow, Georgia will replace its lost 360,000 jobs by 2020. That’s four years later than the United States is expected to recover its lost jobs,” Sumichrast said.

The state’s economy will expand by 1.5 percent in 2012, compared with 1.8 percent national growth, he said. Tighter fiscal policy and less spending by state and local governments, both of which are expected for the year, will hinder growth.

Additionally, Georgia’s dependence on real estate development makes it harder for the state to recover from the bursting of the housing bubble, he said. Construction, information services and government sectors will perform worse in 2012. Manufacturing, transportation, financial markets, service and agriculture sectors should increase, according to the state forecast.

Georgia’s unemployment rate will average just more than 10 percent in 2012, he said.

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Haki 12/09/11 - 04:31 pm
You blame him when they're

You blame him when they're taken.....Obama '12!

allhans 12/09/11 - 06:50 pm
Predictions are good. Just

Predictions are good. Just don't bet your house that this will happen.

CobaltGeorge 12/09/11 - 07:24 pm
Darn, I just figured it

Darn, I just figured it out.......countyman is Meg Mirshak

seenitB4 12/10/11 - 05:18 am
That's funny Cg....:) What

That's funny Cg....:)

What will help our economy is the fact that many are BUYING local...we can't wait for beeeg daddie governemt to make things right....the wise folks in the USA will turn this disaster around..
I bet the SOUTH will turn around B4 the rest of the nation...

KSL 12/10/11 - 05:41 am
Haki, history proves we are

Haki, history proves we are right to blame Obama and his policies.

charliemanson 12/10/11 - 02:42 pm
The Federal Reserve Chairman

The Federal Reserve Chairman is the one who should be credited or blamed for the economy.

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