Thursday, February 11, 2010

White House predicts weak job growth for rest of year

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle...Image via Wikipedia

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President Barack Obama's top economic advisers offered a cautious forecast on Thursday that U.S. job gains for 2010 will average 95,000 a month, with analysts expecting hiring to expand by spring.

"These job projections are very reasonable, but they are also very disappointing since they imply the unemployment rate will remain very high for a very long time," said Larry Mishel, the president of the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal research group. "This is because we need to create at least 100,000 jobs each month in order to absorb new workers and keep the unemployment rate from rising. It suggests that policy is not being aggressive enough to drive down unemployment."

Another reason for a continued high unemployment rate, the council report said, is the huge jump in productivity - worker per-hour output. Companies are doing more with fewer workers. Given their uncertainty about the future, employers are likely to remain cautious about hiring.

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