White House More Optimistic on Jobs Than Others in DC

There’s an interesting chart buried in the latest economic forecast from the White House. It shows that the Obama administration is more optimistic on jobs than other Washington forecasters.

In the report, called the Mid-Season Review, the White House forecasts that unemployment will average 8.8 percent for 2011. (The July national unemployment rate was 9.1 percent.)

But the Congressional Budget Office is forecasting a 9.4 percent unemployment rate for the year, while the federal budget is based on a projection of 9.3 percent for 2011.

The forecasts by the White House were made in June and July, respectively, while the federal budget forecast dates back to last November.

For next year, the White House says it expects unemployment will drop to 8.3 percent. That’s also higher than the 8.4 percent forecast by the CBO, and the 8.6 percent unemployment rate that is forecast in the federal budget for 2012.

All the forecasts see unemployment dropping below 8 percent in 2013. But if you consider full employment to be about 6 percent unemployment, nobody expects to see that happen until the middle of this decade.

Says the report, “The unemployment rate is projected to average
8.8 percent in 2011, slightly below its level in July. Unemployment is projected to decline slowly because of the moderate pace of expected real GDP growth and because, as labor market conditions improve, discouraged workers rejoin the labor force, adding temporarily
to unemployment. With continued growth, the unemployment rate is projected to fall, but it is not projected to fall below 6.0 percent until 2016.

President Obama will be in Detroit this coming Monday for Labor Day events, and he’s scheduled to speak to a joint session of Congress next Thursday on a jobs program.


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