Power Breakfast: Modest improvement in economy, top GA companies, gas prices, Synovus, airfares, foreclosures

AJC writer Katie Leslie reports on the latest view of the state and local economies:

Georgia’s economy will see modest improvement in 2011 as the state gains jobs and lowers its unemployment rate, Georgia State University economist Rajeev Dhawan said.

The economic wild card, Dhawan warned, is unrest in the Middle East, which could spur a spike in oil prices, now hovering just under $100 per barrel, up from about $65 a year ago.

“If oil prices go to $120 and stay there, it would wreck this economy into a mild recession,” Dhawan said, predicting that oil prices will likely settle in coming weeks back to current levels.

He said the state’s unemployment rate will decline from last year’s 10.1 percent to 9.6 percent in 2011. He believes the rate will dip to 9.2 percent in 2012 and 8.6 percent in 2013.

Even though the economy is growing, “if I just went by the employment metric, the recession [in Georgia] has not ended,” he said.

The state will gain 47,700 jobs through December, he said, with most growth in the education and health care sectors. But 2012 should see a significant statewide boost in employment with 77,600 new jobs, followed by 83,100 jobs in 2013. That compares with job growth of 100,000 per year in the late 1990s.

Atlanta will see a gain of 37,800 jobs — 10,800 of them premium, or high-paying jobs — in 2011, with expected gains of 51,800 jobs in 2012. Dhawan also foresees an increase of 56,100 jobs in 2013.

Also in the AJC:

In other media:

- Henry Unger, The Biz Beat

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10 comments Add your comment

TnGelding

February 24th, 2011
5:41 am

Well, I hope his numbers are wrong. I predict it will be a little better, but we’ll see.

We simply must change the way we get a gallon of gas to market. Why do we continue to let commodity speculators steal our hard-earned money?.

TnGelding

February 24th, 2011
5:48 am

Our personal vehicle fleet should be a little more fuel efficient this time around. Maybe it won’t hurt so much.

Henry Unger

February 24th, 2011
5:51 am

I hope his numbers are wrong too — unemployment falls too slowly — but he’s a good economist.

Aaron

February 24th, 2011
7:19 am

Let me see – my check has gone down nearly 40%. I pay more for groceries and energy. I am forced to lose my choices as government is making me do things I disagree with. I have lost faith in this country and its ability to deal with problems without throwing my tax dollars away in silly non-productive solutions that do not help me. The president and his lackey Reid are fear mongering that social security payments will stop if there is a shutdown (which is either a lie or stupidity). I have yet to see any effort anywhere to try and improve my quality of life. So, how is this getting better? Talk is the only thing that is cheap anymore.

Road Scholar

February 24th, 2011
7:53 am

Unemployment at 8.6% in 2013. Oh, good! I guess the businesses that have had profits are happy with their tax breaks to spur job growth. They just won’t hire, esp full time jobs!

Gas prics going up again! When will the American people learn that the changing world economy will cause this whether there is turmoil in the Middle East? Alternate fuels must be persued!

Charles

February 24th, 2011
8:14 am

Today Libya, tomorrow America?

Don't Bee

February 24th, 2011
8:43 am

Gas is at its highest in over two years? Thanks, Mr. President. Thanks a lot.

Buzz G

February 24th, 2011
8:47 am

If the Obama administration had not stopped the pipeline coming down from the Bakken, stopped oil exploration in the gulf and in Alaska and gotten in bed with every environmental whako in the country, we would be in much better shape with our own crude. The main stream press harps relentlessly about peak oil, but what they won’t tell you is that we have huge supplies of recoverable oil in the Bakken shale of North Dakota, Montana as well as Canadian tar sands, but we cannot get them to market because Obama has blocked the building of two pipelines to bring these to the oil refineries in Texas and Louisiana. These pipelines would be built without a single penny of taxpayer money and would do much to reduce our dependence on middle east crude. If Henry wants to do something interesting, he could write about the fight to get the pipelines built from the
Bakken/Sanish and the Canadian tar sands. But such an article would probably get him in trouble with his bosses who advance the narrative that we are running out and need to find alternatives.

Jane Quatam

February 24th, 2011
4:31 pm

I love a good bit of fiction as much as the next person, but rainbows and unicorns won’t feed the kids or put gas in the minivan. Until the structural problems facing our economy are addressed and resolved, we are merely dreaming. Dreaming is wishing without a plan and that seems to be the current political situation at all government levels.

Until the U.S. regains strategic industries and limits the destruction of domestic manufacturing by raising tariffs and abrogating unfair and dangerous trade treaties, we will continue to wither on the vine, like a tomato in a drought.

Dream on little dreamer but when you open your eyes all you will see is cities decaying and citizens becoming debt serfs because no one has the political nerve to actually address the failed policies of the last 4 decades.

TnGelding

February 25th, 2011
12:47 am

Well, there are over 130 million jobs in this country…still. I wouldn’t call that withering on the vine. One problem is 8 million workers hold more than one job. Another is the tremendous increase in productivity. Another is the inequitable pay scale. Another is an education system that fails so many. Our GDP is nearly three times that of second place China. And we’re still the largest manufacturing country in the world, but not for much longer. Why Congress and the White House(s) are/were so enamored of exports is beyond me. We have the consumer base here as long as corporate America keeps us working. They seem to be doing quite well, thank you. You might say things are going as planned.

But I’m willing to give Jane Quatam’s suggestions a try. And if we can only bust up those nasty labor unions that caused the latest economic crisis. Maybe we should try electing competent officials that don’t give away the store and mortgage the future.