White House: Jobs Won't Be Back Until 2017

Estimate acknowledges weakness in economy
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 2, 2011 6:56 AM CDT
Barack Obama announces that he has named Jacob J. 'Jack' Lew to serve as Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House July 13, 2010.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – If you’re waiting for the economy to get back to normal, the White House has a message for you: Don’t hold your breath. The White House budget office released its midyear economic forecast yesterday, and it wasn’t pretty, predicting that unemployment will remain at 9% next year, and won’t return to the more comfortable 5% range until 2017, the New York Times reports.

The numbers are roughly in line with private sector estimates, but represent an acknowledgment of one of Obama’s reelection challenges and act as fuel for his push for new spending and tax cuts to bolster growth. Today will bring a more concrete indicator of actual conditions, however, in the form of the Labor Department’s August jobs report. Economists are only expecting about 60,000 new jobs to have been added—below the 150,000 the US needs just to keep up with population growth. (Update: Bad news.)

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