Survey: Economy To Grow But Not Add A Lot Of Jobs

The U.S. economy will continue to grow throughout the rest of the year and in 2013, but at a tepid rate that fails to lower unemployment, according to a new survey of business economists. The forecast, from the National Association of Business Economists, also expects consumer spending to weaken.

Copyright © 2012 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The U.S. economy will keep growing throughout the year and next, but at a sluggish rate, according to a new survey from the National Association of Business Economists.

NPR's Ailsa Chang reports the forecast doesn't have much bright news for the job market.

AILSA CHANG, BYLINE: Every three months, about 40 economists get together and submit their own predictions for this forecast. The Pollyannas and the extreme pessimists cancel each other out, and somewhere in the middle come some educated guesses.

Here are two of them: unemployment won't dip all that much, and GDP growth will quicken, but barely. Basically, we're going to see the same trends we're already seeing now.

Economist Sean Snaith helped compile the report.

SEAN SNAITH: It's sort of like being upgraded from critical to serious condition in intensive care. I mean, it is an improvement, but it's still a pace of growth that's not likely to generate a lot of jobs.

CHANG: Although September, saw a dip in the unemployment rate, Snaith says, don't get too excited. He calls that decrease a statistical aberration because there was no corresponding large gain in payroll jobs. The report predicts jobs will be added in the coming year, but the unemployment rate won't dramatically change.

SNAITH: Because as jobs are created and as people, you know, see the prospect of finding work rise, we're going to see more people come back into the labor force.

CHANG: And when that happens, he says it puts a floor underneath the unemployment rate, which prolongs the time it takes to bring that rate down.

Ailsa Chang, NPR News.

Copyright © 2012 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Support comes from: