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CBO: Unemployment Will Stay Above 8 Percent Until 2012

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09/20/2010 07:40 PM
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CBO: Unemployment Will Stay Above 8 Percent Until 2012
(CNSNews.com) - The Congressional Budget Office is predicting that the national unemployment rate will remain above 8 percent until 2012, the year of the next presidential election.

The unemployment rate was at 7.7 percent in January 2009, when President Barack Obama’s top economic advisers said the economic stimulus package Obama was then proposing would prevent unemployment from rising above 8 percent. Currently, the national unemployment rate is at 9.6 percent. Four years ago, in September 2006, it was at 4.5 percent.

“CBO expects that the economic recovery will proceed at a modest pace, leaving the unemployment rate above 8 percent until 2012,” said CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf at a Sept. 16 policy seminar.

Elmendorf said that long-term unemployment was the highest it had been in six decades.

“Weak economic growth has serious social consequences. About 9½ percent of the labor force is officially unemployed, but many other people are underemployed or have left the labor force,” he said. “The incidence of unemployment lasting longer than 26 weeks has been the highest by far in the past 60 years.”

Elmendorf directly addressed the contention that the federal government is out of policy options for dealing with this problem, given the failure of the Recovery Act to hold down unemployment.

[link to www.cnsnews.com]
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