Jobless outlook is bleak - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Jobless outlook is bleak

By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Economists expect southwest Georgia's unemployment rate will increase sharply this year and could reach double digits.

The most recent figures showed the region's unemployment rate at 7.7%. Some experts say it could climb as high as 10 percent this year.

The interim dean of Albany State's Business College says we shouldn't expect an upturn in the economy until the middle of next year, but Albany's stable industries will prevent things from being even worse here.

"The good news is we're an educational center, we're a college town, we're a health care regional center, we have the Marine Corps Logistics Base, we have Phoebe, we have Miller-Coors," said Dr. Michael Rogers, Interim Dean of the ASU College of Business. "So with these stable industries, we're going to be in bad shape but we're going to be able to move forward when the economy picks up."

Rogers says Cooper Tire's closure will lead to more layoffs and less retail spending.

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