Economic Growth to Come Soon
Southeast Missouri's economy fared slightly better than the national average in the final part of 2012. That's according to a new report issued Tuesday by Southeast Missouri State University's Center for Economic & Business Research.
Counties like Cape Girardeau County and Perry County saw their unemployment rates drop down by a little more than half-a-percent to 5.5% and 4.3%, respectively.
Bruce Domazlicky is the director of the university research center. He says decreased unemployment rates could be misleading.
“When you put in the people who are discouraged and who have dropped out of the labor force and others who may want full-time work, when you put all that together, the unemployment rate, the underemployment rate is probably somewhat higher than what we’re still observing,” Domazlicky said. “And that’s going to probably be true for a while yet. The labor market’s improving, but it’s really got a long ways to go.”
The national unemployment rate is now 7.7% with Southeast Missouri just under the national average at 7.1%.
Domazlicky He says national growth averages are not consistent with previous growth trends.
“It was a little bit surprising that the growth rate and gross domestic product nationally in the last quarter of 2012 was only four tenths of a percent at an average annual rate,” Domazlicky said. “It had been showing some signs of picking up, and then it just kind of hit the wall. And hopefully that’s just kind of a one quarter anomaly and that things will start to pick up in the first part of the year.”
Domazlicky expects the national GDP to recover in the first quarter of 2013.