By Samantha Adams
As students prepare to mount the graduation stage in just a few months, the job market is also trudging upward.
“By the final quarter of 2012, there will be 271,000 unemployed Tennesseans, compared to 164,000 in the fourth quarter of 2007, when the recession began,” an economic report from the Center for Business and Economic Research projected in January.
The 44-page annual report, which covered both national and state forecasts, said the economy will continue to grow, but slowly.
“The number of unemployed people will slowly fall in the quarters ahead, producing an annual decline of 7 percent in 2011 and a 2.6 percent decline in 2012,” the report projected.
The report pointed to four factors that will keep the unemployment rate historically high: job creation will be slow; former workers will begin looking for jobs again; as the workforce changes, some people will be left with a skill or education that is no longer sought in the workforce; and the weak housing market will leave people without the option of moving to find work, the report said.
Though it will not be a speedy recovery, the decrease in unemployment will make a difference to manufacturers and sellers of durable goods in Tennessee.
The report said the state will see “healthy gains” in sales.
Many sectors of the economy in Tennessee should expect to see job growth in the next two years, the report said.
While professional and business services and education and health services were among the sectors that should grow, jobs in government, financial activities and information are still expected to decline.
The report highlighted a study by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation about the “New Economy” in America.
The 2010 State New Economy Index described the New Economy as “knowledge-based, globalized, entrepreneurial, IT-driven, innovation-based and what will most likely define the global economy in the coming years,” the report said.