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The Wichita area is expected to see growth of around 4,800 jobs next year, according to a forecast presented at Wichita State University's annual Wichita Area Economic Outlook Conference, held Thursday at Century II.
Jeremy Hill, director of the WSU Center for Economic Development and Business Research, said the growth will be 1.7 percent, which is below the potential growth but still an improvement from this year. He said the service sector will see the strongest growth, with some growth in professional business services, health care and manufacturing. Hill is forecasting growth of 1.8 percent in employment statewide.
Hill said consumer confidence is weak, but consumers are wanting to spend, and they are more tolerant of negative economic news. He sid for consumer demand to increase, there will need to be job growth in aviation and other manufacturing sectors.
Hill said businesses are "sitting on their hands" because of uncertainty in the marketplace. He feels many of the uncertainties will be resolved after the election and after the first of the year, and there will be a forward movement in 2013.
Hill said the biggest concern will be how Congress deals with federal spending cuts in 2013. That issue could have the biggest impact on the local economy.
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