Fishkind: Manatee County's future is population and job growth

BRADENTON - The state can expect "significant" population and job growth in the next four years with Manatee County in the forefront of the change, said economist Hank Fishkind this morning at an economic forecast breakfast for the Manatee County Economic Development Council.

About 400 business people heard Fishkind give an optimistic report about the near future prospects for economic growth here, saying he expects a 2,000 population growth in Manatee in 2011 with a 3 1/2 to 4 percent growth in the GDP, or gross domestic product.

With the current trend in dropping unemployment claims, Fishkind with he is "confident" about the local job market but skeptical about Gov. Rick Scott's claim to produce 700,000 jobs in the next seven years statewide.

"I commend him for his leadership and vision but I doubt his plan," he said.