So much depends on factors influencing the Kansas City area economy, the best drawn analysis of future trends has to be flexible. Forecasters readily admit it.
KCUR talked with the chief forecaster following the latest outlook, issued November 9th to the Greater Kansas City Area Chamber of Commerce.
Avoiding the January 1st fiscal cliff of huge spending cuts and tax hikes is key to a positive forecast by head of research for Mid America Regional Council Frank Lenk.
Recession is the alternative, say Lenk and fellow analysts.
Hitting the cliff would mean 2100 fewer jobs.
If the crisis is averted, the forecast sees 21,000 added jobs next year, 33,000 in 2014.
The overall growth forecast for the metro region economy is set at about 5 percent.
Lenk says historically, this jobless recovery is a little faster than from the recession of 2001--“but the hole that was dug was so deep it’s taking us a lot longer to get back to where we were before the recession.”
Lenk notes that since the 1992 recession, these setbacks have been called "jobless recoveries."