Virginia’s employment to expand this year and in 2014

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While the impact of the federal government’s spending reductions will be greater in Virginia than other states, an economic consulting company says employment will grow in Virginia this year and in 2014.

That was one of the key findings in the annual Virginia Economic Forecast released Wednesday by The Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy in Charlottesville. The report was done by Christine Chmura and her team at Chmura Economics & Analytics in Richmond.

Chmura predicts that the impact of sequestration on Virginia will be greater than in other states, because Virginia receives more federal contract spending than any other state. The report said that in 2011, the last year figures are available, 13.7 percent of Virginia's gross state product came from federal contracts.

Yet, even with the negative impact from federal cutbacks, Chmura expects Virginia's employment to expand by 0.8 percent in 2013 and by 1.1 percent in 2014. That’s well below the 1.9 percent annualized job growth in the state between 1992 and 2007.

This year's forecast states that the nation's economic growth "remains modest and uneven" and that the recovery from the Great Recession has been tepid. Chmura projects that the nation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will grow by only 1.4 percent this year and by 2.6 percent next year.

Virginia's employment expanded by 0.9 percent for the year ending in March with an additional 34,481 jobs, slower than the job growth nationally. The new jobs came from these sectors of the economy: education, health care, finance, insurance, and real estate.

The housing market in Virginia has improved by a significant 8.2 percent between 2011 and 2012 (the last numbers available for this report).

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