Tags: poll | unemployment

Poll: U.S. Unemployment Will Peak in March

Monday, 23 Nov 2009 05:48 PM

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WASHINGTON – The worst of US job losses are expected to be over by March 2010 as the economic grows after a long recession, a poll of business economists showed Monday.

US economic growth in the fourth quarter of 2009 is expected to be 3.0 percent, rising to 3.2 percent over the whole of next year, according to the consensus macroeconomic outlook of a panel of 48 professional forecasters of the National Association of Business Economics (NABE).

"The recovery will not remain 'jobless' for long," the outlook report said.

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"With more than 7.3 million jobs lost since December 2007 (when the US plunged into recession), NABE panelists believe the end of net employment losses is near, with modest declines during the fourth quarter followed by a 'bottom' in the first quarter of 2010 and gains thereafter," the report said.

The US unemployment rate shot up to 10.2 percent in October as another 190,000 jobs were shed, the government said earlier this month.

The jobless rate, up from 9.8 percent in September, was the highest since 1983 but the number of jobs lost narrowed to the lowest level in over a year.

Given the severity of employment losses during the past two years, most NABE panelists (61 percent) however did not expect a complete recovery of the previously lost jobs until 2012.

Additionally, the unemployment rate is predicted to remain stubbornly high, averaging 9.6 percent in the final quarter of next year, they said.

When asked to rank "concerns" over the next five-year period, panelists ranked high unemployment second only to the federal deficit.

The US government announced last month that it had closed its 2009 fiscal year with a record budget deficit of 1.417 trillion dollars, up 962 billion dollars from the prior year.

The White House forecasts the deficit to jump to 1.502 trillion dollars in fiscal 2010.

President Barack Obama predicted that the United States economy would grow again in the final quarter of 2009, pulling further out of a long and crippling recession.

The government said in its initial estimate that the US economy grew at a seasonally adjusted 3.5 percent annual rate in the third quarter from the previous quarter.

The growth exceeded analysts expectations and marked the strongest quarter since the third quarter of 2007 when a US subprime mortgage crisis triggered a global financial meltdown.

Copyright © 2009 Agence France Presse. All rights reserved.

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