Mark Zandi warns on “FOX News Sunday” that the recovery will continue to be “halting” and “fragile,” backing up estimates from other economists that show unemployment peaking next summer and hovering above 8 percent four years down the road.
Unemployment will continue to rise and could peak at 10.5 percent, one of the nation’s top economists said Sunday.
Mark Zandi, co-founder of Moody’s Economy.com, warned on “FOX News Sunday” that the recovery will continue to be “halting” and “fragile,” backing up estimates from other economists that show unemployment peaking next summer and hovering above eight percent four years down the road. New figures released last week showed unemployment rose to 9.8 percent in September, the highest since 1983.
But Zandi, one of the foremost economists cited by the Obama administration and Congress during the push for the $787 billion economic stimulus package in February, argued that despite the dismal economic predictions the recovery package was still a success and has prevented a massive problem from becoming even worse.
“10.5 percent is a very reasonable expectation for the peak in unemployment, but I think it would be measurably higher if not for the stimulus package,” Zandi said. “The stimulus in my view is working. It’s just gotten overwhelmed by the magnitude of the economic crisis.”
Zandi said the presumably slow recovery means stimulus benefits should be extended into 2010.
He said unemployment benefits, first-time home buyer credits and state aid should all be continued.
“If you’ve got 10 percent-plus unemployment, people are going to be out of work. They’re going to need more help,” he said.
Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, whose state’s unemployment rate is the highest in the nation at 15.2 percent, agreed that unemployment benefits should be extended. The Democratic governor said that the stimulus has helped, even though “unemployment is at a ridiculously high level.”
But Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels said the stimulus has not yielded the benefits it advertised months ago.
“It’s coming very slowly, if at all,” the Republican told “FOX News Sunday.” “The stimulus, I didn’t oppose the idea of it, but I don’t think you can point to much effect so far.”
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September’s unemployment figures were not only disappointing — they were grim. For the 21st straight month, Americans lost jobs. Fifteen million are out of work — 5 million for more than six months.
But as The Washington Times asserts, “America’s jobless crisis is much worse than the 9.8 percent unemployment rate.”
The U.S. economy actually lost 785,000 jobs in September, which should have pushed the 9.7 percent August unemployment figure far higher than just 0.1 percent to 9.8 percent.
What kept the increase to 0.1 percent?
Over 800,000 people quit the labor force in September. They packed it in. They stopped looking for work. That is six times the number who quit looking in August and five times the monthly average of those who have given up the search for work in the year since Lehman Brothers died.
Adding to the near 15 million unemployed those who have given up looking for work and those who have taken low-paying part-time jobs, the Times estimates the true employment rate at 17 percent. We used to call that a depression.
Yet, with nearly 25 million Americans unemployed, or no longer looking for work, or in low-wage part-time jobs, 8.5 million U.S. jobs are believed to be held by illegal aliens who broke into the country or overstayed their visas.
Why is this not a matter of national outrage?
For every job opening in the country, there are six unemployed Americans. With this surplus of idle labor and shortage of jobs, the men who do the hiring are in the catbird’s seat. They can cut wages in the knowledge that desperate Americans will have to accept what is offered.
Comes the rote response: Immigrants and illegal aliens only take jobs Americans do not want and will not do. But, last month, a front-page article in USA Today demolished that argument.
When a 2006 raid on six Swift & Co. meatpacking plants rounded up 1,200 illegal aliens, 10 percent of the workforce, Swift was up and running at full staff within months. How? Native-born Americans in the hundreds came out and took the jobs.
Says Vanderbilt University Professor Carol Swain, “Whenever there’s an immigration raid, you find white, black and legal immigrant labor lining up to do these jobs Americans will supposedly not do.”
At one of the Swift plants out West, a workforce that had been 90 percent Hispanic, legal and illegal, before the raids is now a mixture of white Americans and Hispanic-Americans. Illegal aliens lost the jobs, and American citizens got them.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )