ATLANTA -- The number of jobs in Georgia will rise 2.1 percent this year, and personal income will improve 4.7 percent, but greater gains will be limited by weak investment by corporations, according to an economic forecast released Wednesday.
“Overall investment numbers for 2014 are looking less rosy than I would like," said Rajeev Dhawan, director of the Economic Forecasting Center at Georgia State University.
He said in the center's quarterly forecast that manufacturers and other corporations are nervous about the stalled factories in China as well as the many countries that supply Chinese plants. Tepid retail sales and lending constraints on small businesses are also contributing to slower growth in the business sector.
These factors will make Georgia's economy look lackluster compared to last year, which had a 40 percent increase in the rate of job creation over the 2012 rate.
“Georgia’s job creation pace was accelerating steadily in the first half of 2013,” Dhawan says, “But after peaking in early fall, it started to decelerate.”
During that deceleration, retail, hospitality and factory hiring were the only sectors maintaining their momentum from the first of the year, and Dhawan predicts they will continue at a healthy clip this year. Construction will pick up because of multi-family housing.
As a result, the state's unemployment average will drop to 7.3 percent for the year and fall further to 6.7 percent next year, according to the forecast.