Unemployment to Stay High for Years

Fed officials predict it will take about 5 years to return to normal

By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 24, 2009 4:13 PM CST

(Newser) – Unemployment will remain higher than normal for years to come, Fed officials predicted today. Even at the end of 2012, the rate is forecast to be between 6.8% and 7.5%—a decent turnaround from the current 10.2% but still about 2 points higher than the figure in healthy times. Even though the economy is technically in recovery, it will take "about five or six years" for the labor market to right itself, the officials said.

Today's projections echo details released from the last Fed meeting, in which the central bank signaled it will leave interest rates low for a while, reports the Washington Post. The main reason: concerns that we're in a jobless recovery. "Business contacts reported that they would be cautious in their hiring and would continue to aggressively seek cost savings," the minutes said.

Michigan state Department of Human Services word processing assistant Rosalind Alexander, helps a client at the Family Independence Agency in Detroit, Nov. 13, 2009.
Michigan state Department of Human Services word processing assistant Rosalind Alexander, helps a client at the Family Independence Agency in Detroit, Nov. 13, 2009.   (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
In this Nov. 4 photo, job seekers hand over resumes while trying to get information at a job fair in Livonia, Mich.
In this Nov. 4 photo, job seekers hand over resumes while trying to get information at a job fair in Livonia, Mich.   (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
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