Wednesday, July 17, 2024
Wednesday, July 17, 2024
Home » Well-positioned: Economist Argues Georgia’s Economy Remains Solid Despite National Losses

Well-positioned: Economist Argues Georgia’s Economy Remains Solid Despite National Losses

by Cahan Garakhanova
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Painting a rosy picture of the state’s economy, State Fiscal Economist Jeffrey Dorfman said that even if the overall U.S. economy suffers setbacks Georgia is well-positioned.

“During the pandemic, Georgia managed to save over $70 billion,” Dorfman said. “And despite inflation increasing prices, they still have over $50 billion left.”

Dorfman was appointed the state’s chief fiscal economist in 2019. He has taught at the University of Georgia since 1989 and is widely regarded as an expert in agricultural economics.

“Georgia added almost 170,000 jobs since the beginning of the pandemic,” Dorfman told the Rome Home Builders Association at the Coosa Country Club on Wednesday afternoon. “For every job seeker, there are two job openings.”

Dorfman also said that the state has done a good job creating quality jobs, especially in manufacturing and warehousing.

“And if we could find more tradespeople,” Dorfman told the roomful of builders, “I’m pretty sure you could put them to work pretty quickly.”

Dorfman also said that, although people are concerned about interest rates increasing, if they stabilize below 10% then builders would continue to flourish.

Most of the assembled builders were concerned about the costs of materials, which skyrocketed during the pandemic.

“Most materials should continue to come down a bit, except concrete,” Dorfman said. “Much of our concrete supply comes from Turkey, and after the recent earthquakes, we don’t anticipate them sending us a lot of concrete.”

It’s even possible for the larger U.S. economy to enter into recession, he said and that may not even affect Georgia’s economy. For an example, he pointed toward tech layoffs.

“Most large layoffs have been with tech companies like Google, Microsoft and Facebook.” Dorfman stated. “This could actually be beneficial to other companies which need these skilled workers, albeit at probably lower salaries.”

The economy’s dirty little secret, Dorfman said, is that companies giving out larger than usual raises is one of the factors that is causing the economy to overheat. In order to slow inflation, the Federal Reserve has been increasing interest rates to slow growth a bit.

“As private businesses, you’re free to pay your employees whatever you want,” Dorfman said. “However, as an economist, my advice is that it’s not a great idea for the overall economy.”

Source: nwgn

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