Local News

January 30, 2013

Georgia set for slow but steady economic growth in 2013

University of Georgia economic forecasters predict the state’s economy will grow faster than that of the nation as a whole in 2013. But growth will remain sluggish at both the state and national levels.

“Georgia’s economy sank deeper during the recession, and it grew more slowly during the early years of the recovery than the national economy. But we believe that will change this year,” said Robert Sumichrast, dean of the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business.

Sumichrast spoke Tuesday at the Dalton Golf & Country Club for the Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce’s “Wake Up Dalton” breakfast.

Sumichrast says university forecasters predict the state’s gross domestic product (GDP) will rise 2.1 percent this year, compared to a 1.8 percent increase for national GDP. But that growth could be threatened, he said, if Congress and President Barack Obama do not develop a long-term plan to rein in federal debt.

“There is a real chance that our leaders could make policy decisions that could lead us back into recession,” he said.

Sumichrast said the state should add about 53,000 jobs this year, but that won’t be enough to push the unemployment rate below 8 percent. In fact, he said, at current rates of job growth the state won’t recover the jobs it lost during the recession until 2016.

He predicted that the strongest job growth will be in professional and business services, followed by leisure and hospitality and manufacturing.

But Sumichrast said the state suffers from a mismatch between the jobs it will create and the skills possessed by many in the workforce, and he said the state needs to bolster its education system to sustain long-term growth.

“A poorly educated workforce puts Georgia at a competitive disadvantage with other states and nations when it comes to recruiting companies. That problem is especially bad when it comes to high-paying, high-technology companies,” he said.

Sumichrast said the university’s forecasters do not break down their predictions by region, so he could not provide any numbers for how the Greater Dalton area will fare in 2013. But he said the region should share in the state’s overall growth.

Sumichrast did say that construction of single-family houses should grow 20 percent this year in Georgia, and chamber President Brian Anderson said that’s good news for area floorcovering companies.

“His report matches up with and puts some numbers to what we have been hearing from bankers and financial people and from executives of local companies,” Anderson said. “Things seem better. Nobody is expecting 2013 will be gangbusters. But it looks like things will be improving, and there are some signs we might be able to sustain this growth.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Dalton State turtle 4.jpg In the mood for love: Encouraging breeding, saving species

    For one Dalton State College couple, a cool misty shower is more effective than Barry White and candles at turning thoughts to love. And keeping this couple feeling amorous could mean survival of the species.

    August 1, 2014 4 Photos

  • Beaulieu expects 2,000 employees to be affected by week-long shutdown

    About 2,000 employees of Beaulieu of America in Georgia and Alabama will be affected by the company’s plans to conduct an inventory of its buildings and facilities next week.

    August 1, 2014

  • Moral monday 3 mlh.jpg Four ‘jailed for justice’ tell their stories

    Arturo Martinez was just 8 when his family came to the United States from Mexico, and though he is one of more than 500,000 young undocumented immigrants granted deferred removal by President Barack Obama, Martinez said his dream of pursuing higher education is out of reach because of Georgia policies.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tanner Blackton: Diners, servers must show understanding

    Try to imagine this: You’ve been on your feet for hours, hoisting heavy plates, buzzing from table to table, taking orders, running food, refilling drinks. All the while, you have a smile plastered on your face and a go-to attitude, even when people blame you for things that are out of your control, berate you for accidentally mixing up an order, or loudly complain about being seated underneath an air conditioning vent.

    August 1, 2014

  • Bugs and Kisses 1 mlh.jpg Local stores expect tax holiday to create lots of sales

    Local retailers say Georgia’s sales tax holiday weekends mean big business for them, and they are gearing up to capitalize on this year’s tax-free shopping on Friday and Saturday.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Esme file mw 2.jpg Still fighting

    Ten-year-old Esme Miller was celebrated earlier this year for the way she’s handled a bout with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Historical photos of Murray County needed

    Maybe you have a photograph of a well-known preacher from the 1940s. Or maybe you have a photograph taken of a church choir from the 1920s.

    July 30, 2014

  • State DOT wants your input on transportation needs

    As state and national leaders consider alternatives for funding future transportation needs, the Georgia Department of Transportation wants to know what Georgians would like in their 21st century transportation system and how they recommend paying for it.

    July 30, 2014

  • Jail for Justice Tour event here tonight

    The Moral Monday Georgia Coalition, the NAACP-led multi-racial, multi-issue advocacy group, will host an event in partnership with the Georgia Dreamers Alliance, Coalition of Latino Leaders (CLILA), Whitfield NAACP and the Whitfield County Democratic Party at Dalton’s Mack Gaston Community Center tonight from 5 to 9.

    July 30, 2014

  • Two charged with tampering with evidence in drug investigation

    Two people have been arrested and charged with tampering with evidence in connection with the synthetic marijuana bust in February involving a Dalton business owner.

    July 30, 2014