Most Economists Expect National Unemployment Rate To Remain Above 6% For At Least Four More Years
In the second half of 2011 and first few months of 2012, the national unemployment rate in the United States dropped from 9.1% to 8.1%.
Was this the start of a return to more "normal" unemployment rates in the country? Optimism bloomed amongst many in the country as hopes for a return to normalcy in the job market were raised.
According to the majority of economists included in the latest Associated Press Economy survey, you shouldn't get your hopes up. The economists that were included in the survey are pretty united in their belief that the unemployment rate will stay above a "normal" range (a "normal" unemployment rate is considered by most to between 5-6%) for "at least four more years".
That's right - the majority of economists in the survey believe that it will be July of 2016 MINIMUM before the national unemployment rate is under 6% again.
In case you were wondering - the last time that the national unemployment rate was below 6% was in July of 2008 (5.8%).
That would mean that the national unemployment rate would be over 6% for EIGHT years before finally sinking back into a "normal" range (based on the projections of these economists, anyways).
The last time that the country witnessed anything close to this was in the early '80s. In December of 1979, the national unemployment rate hit 6%. The nation would not see a sub-6% unemployment rate again until September of 1987.
In short - don't expect a return to a "normal" unemployment rate anytime soon.
Source: SFgate.com - AP Survey: Next President Faces High Unemployment
Filed under: The Economic Meltdown