Unemployment in Tennessee will stay at or above 9 percent through 2013, according to the latest economic forecast released today by the University of Tennessee.
After shedding jobs in 2009 and 2010, the UT Center for Business and Economic Research estimates employment will grow by 0.8 percent this year, by 1 percent next year and by 1.1 percent in 2013.
Such growth is well below the pattern of previous economic recoveries and the new forecast is less robust than what state economists previously projected.
"Economic growth has slowed but has not stalled," said Matt Murray, associate director for the Center for Business and Economic Research and author of the study. "A slight pickup in growth is anticipated in the third and fourth quarters, but annualized growth will come in at a disappointing rate for the year as a whole. The outlook for 2012 is only slightly better."
The number of Tennesseans on the job will remain below the peak reached in 2007 for at least another two years, Murray said.
"It will be 2013 before employment returns to the levels that prevailed prior to the recession," he said.
Tennessee's unemployment rate will continue to be above the U.S. average for the next year, Murray said.
Manufacturing will enjoy short-term employment gains particularly in the durable goods sector. This is largely due to steady improvement in the transportation equipment industry, including new jobs created by Volkswagen.