Unemployment in 2012

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The UCLA Anderson Forecast is released quarterly. Here’s the latest from Forecast director Ed Leamer:

Leamer explains that significant reductions in the unemployment rate require real gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the 5.0 percent to 6.0 percent range….The forecast for GDP growth this year is 3.4 percent, followed by 2.4 percent in 2011 and 2.8 percent in 2012, well below the 5.0 percent growth of previous recoveries and even a bit below the 3.0 percent long-term normal growth. With this weak economic growth comes a weak labor market, and unemployment slowly declines to 8.6 percent by 2012.

So two and a half years from now unemployment will still be at 8.6%, a rate that would normally send everyone screaming for the hills. And what is the United States Congress doing about this? For all practical purposes, absolutely nothing. It must be nice being a congressman.

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