Forecasting the future

The Terry College of Business has been providing the state with an annual economic forecast for 29 years

Forecasting the future

Photo by: Andrew Davis Tucker

The good news for Georgians this year is that the state will likely lose fewer jobs than in previous years. The bad news is that the recovery here will lag behind that of the U.S., which is seeing overall job growth.

That is the message representatives from the Terry College of Business are giving business leaders throughout the state as they present the Georgia Economic Outlook 2012, an annual event that has been a trademark of the college since 1983.

Director Jeffrey Humphreys of the Selig Center for Economic Growth talks with colleagues during the Georgia Economic Outlook 2012 luncheon.

The kickoff event, at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, was followed by presentations scheduled in nine Georgia cities, as well as Charlotte and Jacksonville, between Nov. 29 and March 7. The Atlanta event, which drew a crowd of about 800 in November, was sponsored by some of Georgia’s biggest businesses including AT&T, Gas South, Hardin Construction Company and PrivateBancorp Inc. In the audience and at the head table were representatives from businesses small and large, higher education, state and local governments and nonprofit organizations—all of them heavily dependent on the state economy, as well as that of the nation and the world.

“While the news may not be as encouraging as we might like to hear, it is very important to bring comparisons to the discussion,” says Mike Gaymon, president and CEO of the Greater Columbus Georgia Chamber of Commerce, which hosted the forecast event in January.

Dean of the Terry College of Business Robert T. Sumichrast gives the state outlook during the Georgia Economic Outlook 2012 luncheon at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.

In presenting the state forecast Terry College Dean Robert Sumichrast tells the crowd that Georgia’s dependence on construction, land development and retail development—areas hit particularly hard during a recession—makes the state less likely to quickly recover.

“We continue to suffer from the technology bubble that burst as the millennium began,” he says.

Jobs lost in Georgia since 2007 likely will not be replaced until 2020, according to Terry’s Selig Center for Economic Growth, directed by Jeffrey Humphreys (PhD ’88).

Georgia Chamber President and CEO Chris Clark says that businesses across Georgia rely on the comprehensive analysis UGA provides in addition to the numbers.

Source: Selig Center for Economic Growth, Terry College of Business, University of Georgia, November 2011.

Source: Selig Center for Economic Growth, Terry College of Business, University of Georgia, November 2011.








“The report is an honest, reliable resource used by companies throughout the state each year as they make decisions critical to their bottom line,” Clark says.

UGA continues to be a major force in the state, President Michael Adams told the audience in Atlanta.

“The simple truth is that the road to change leads through Athens,” Adams says.

“We educate Georgia at UGA. We produce the leadership class. We produce the people who make their communities better, thereby making the state better. We produce the producers, the creators, the innovators, the change agents. We send into the world people equipped for success.”