Power Breakfast: Ga. joblessness to top 11%, progress in water talks, Delta, Georgia Power

Job growth in Georgia should resume in the middle of next year, according to the University of Georgia’s new economic forecast.

But the state’s unemployment rate will top 11 percent before it starts to decline as the slow recovery gains momentum, a UGA forecaster told Atlanta business leaders Tuesday at the Goergia World Congress Center.

AJC reporter Michael Kanell writes that the economy is expanding modestly and, by the time hiring starts to outpace layoffs, Georgia will have lost about 370,000 jobs — about 9 percent of the pre-recession total, said Robert Sumichrast, dean of UGA’s Terry College of Business.

“Our state will continue to suffer for its heavy exposure to real estate, which was the epicenter of this recession,” he told an audience of about 900 people.

Both locally and across the country, many businesses are burdened with tight credit, while consumers remain skittish, Kanell writes.

Yet a “double dip” – that is, a slip back into recession – is not in the cards, Sumichrast predicted.

“The bottom line is that the recovery that began in the third quarter will be sustained,” Sumichrast said. “The job machine will shift gears from reverse to forward in the second quarter of 2010.”

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