AP survey: Steady job gains to sustain U.S. recovery
Hiring through the rest of 2012 will lag the brisk pace set early this year, but it will be strong enough to push the unemployment rate below 8% by Election Day. At least that's the general view of 32 of the nation's leading economists surveyed by The Associated Press. They foresee a gradually brighter jobs picture despite higher gas prices, Europe's debt crisis and a weak housing market; and they believe the economy has entered a "virtuous cycle" in which hiring boosts consumer spending, which in turn fuels more hiring and spending. The survey results come a day before the government will release its official report Friday on hiring during April. A weak jobs report in March contributed to fears that the economy might struggle to sustain its recovery.
But the economists think the recovery will manage to reduce unemployment to 7.9% by Election Day from the 8.2% reported in March. Unemployment was 9.8% in November 2010. If the surveyed economists prove correct, the rate will be nearly 2 percentage points lower when Americans vote on Nov. 6. Yet the economists surveyed by the AP think it will be at least three more years before unemployment falls below 6%, which is one sign of a healthy economy. Get specifics on the survey in the full story here.
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