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Mild growth unlikely to help unemployed

Tue., Jan. 24, 2012, midnight

LOS ANGELES — A new economic forecast calls for the U.S. economy to make some modest growth strides this year, but not quite enough to significantly reduce the number of jobless Americans looking for work.

About two-thirds of the economists who participated in the latest National Association for Business Economics survey expect the nation’s gross domestic product, or GDP, to grow at a rate above 2 percent this year, according to the outlook released Monday.

GDP reflects the economy’s total output of goods and services. The latest forecast is in line with one issued by the group in November that called for the economy to grow 2.4 percent this year.

“That is not the sort of GDP growth that’s really going to dramatically improve our labor market, but it’s certainly not going to make it worse,” said Nayantara Hensel, professor of industry and business at National Defense University and chair of the NABE survey.

GDP growth needs to be above 3 percent to significantly lower unemployment, which is at its lowest rate in nearly three years but remains at a troubling 8.5 percent.


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