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Kay Bailey Hutchison's Take on the Economy

Dallas-Ft. Worth Office
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Entitlement reform needs to be a top priority of Congress with Social Security as one of the targeted areas upon which to focus, says Former US Sen Kay Bailey Hutchison. We snapped her at Cushman & Wakefield's economic forecast event at the George W. Bush Institute on Friday. Congress needs to address spending cuts, look at gradually raising the age for Social Security benefits, and adjusting the cost of living. She also says one factor in the high umemployment rate is that businesses are not hiring because of regulatory burdens.

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Since January 2010, Texas has had the most employment growth of any state, says Cushman & Wakefield chief economist Kenneth McCarthy. While things look brighter in 2014, this has been the slowest recovery from a recession with only 2.4% GDP averaged since 2009. The average recovery before: 4%. But, he thinks we'll see 3.1% this year and maybe 4.1% in 2015. However, there are fewer people working today than when the recession started in January 2008. Unemployment figures are misleading because people are underemployed or dropping out of the workforce.

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On the bright side, Kenneth says as households pay down debt and businesses are in better financial shape than ever, there is plenty of capital ready to invest in real estate. This year has started with more stability and momentum than recent years and confidence is rising as the private sector's health has improved, he says. We sat with Cushman & Wakefield's Mike Gosslee (second from left) and Mari Jones (center).