White House: Unemployment Will Still Be 9% on Election Day

Thursday, 01 Sep 2011 09:14 PM

By David A. Patten

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The Obama White House is now predicting the unemployment rate still will be over 9 percent when voters go to the polls to cast their ballots in the November 2012 election.

That bracing news was contained in the administration’s revised, downgraded forecast for economic performance in the months ahead. It follows a similar downgraded projection by the Congressional Budget Office, which stated unemployment would remain at or above 8.5 percent through the end of 2012.

The administration blamed the downgrade on significant economic “turbulence” in recent months. Its economists say they now expect the economy to grow by about 1.7 percent in 2011, rather than the 2.7 percent previously predicted.

White House officials tried to spin the report as further evidence of the need to jump-start economic growth. The president is scheduled to give an address to a joint session of Congress next Thursday that is expected to focus on job creation.

Recent polls show voters’ faith in the president’s ability to effectively manage the economy has been seriously diminished. A Gallup poll in mid-August, for example, showed only 27 percent of voters approve of the president’s economic stewardship.

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