Economic Forecast and Industry Outlook

While progress in the national and state economies has boosted confidence, optimism on the part of both consumers and businesses is still tempered by caution. Following a 2.2% increase in 2014, nonfarm jobs are expected to increase by 2.2% again in 2015, slowing slightly to 2.1% in 2016. The unemployment rate will fall from 7.5% in 2014 to 6.7% this year and 6.3% in 2016. With continued improvement in the labor market, both personal income and total taxable sales should increase by four percent this year, accelerating to six percent in 2016.

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