5:45 am February 25, 2010, by Henry Unger
If you can wait a year, job growth is likely to return to Georgia.
AJC staffer Michael Kanell reports that the state’s run of job losses — now in its third year — will finally end with the return of modest employment growth next year, according to Georgia State University’s Economic Forecasting Center.
But the state’s economic recovery will remain tepid, in part because of a banking system riddled with bad debts left over from the housing boom, said Rajeev Dhawan, director of the center. Tight credit will combine with soft demand to hold back hiring, he said.
Dhawan, delivering his report at the center’s quarterly conference on Wednesday, predicted Georgia will see a net loss of 35,600 jobs in 2010 — far less than the 173,900 of 2009, Kanell reports.
The state will add 43,200 jobs in 2011 and 66,700 jobs in 2012 — a significant chunk of them lower-paying jobs, according to the center’s forecast.
Still, positive hiring will end the worst labor hemorrhage since the Great Depression. By the time the losses end, the state will have shed about 342,000 jobs, or nearly 8.3 percent of all payrolls, since 2007, Kanell writes.
At the predicted rate of resumed growth, it will take until 2015 to replace those losses.
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