In separate forecasts presented this month, economists in Georgia and Texas expressed dour expectations for national job growth in the coming year. Because commercial real estate depends on employment growth to drive the demand for space, the forecasts suggest that demand will be weak for the foreseeable future.
Dr. Rajeev Dhawan, director of the Business Economic Forecasting Center at Georgia State University, blames the credit crunch for pushing the economy into a recessionary state. In a forecast published Wednesday, Dhawan says the credit crunch has damaged the economy's growth prospects until 2010.
“Some banks are on the brink of failure and it will be up to the FDIC to bail them out,” Dhawan says, expounding on the nation's economic predicament. “Should they run short of funds, look for the government to bail out the FDIC, leaving taxpayers with the tab.” That's why Dhawan is projecting real gross domestic product growth at a rate of 1.4% in 2008, decelerating to 0.5% in 2009 before beginning an anemic recovery to growth of 2.2% by 2010.
That lackluster economic growth means net job losses that have averaged 66,000 per month so far this year will grow to 90,000 losses per month in the second half of 2008. Expect less severe losses averaging 15,000 job cuts per month in 2009, Dhawan says. “The job market will emerge from the twilight zone in 2010, when the economy will add jobs at a monthly rate of 100,000.”