White House Sees 9% Unemployment in 2012

BOSTON (TheStreet) -- The White House is predicting stubbornly high unemployment and slow economic growth in 2012, as President Obama fights for reelection against a new crop of GOP presidential hopefuls.

The Office of Management and Budget released its mid-session review of the budget on Thursday, with White House researchers now forecasting an unemployment rate of 8.3% in 2012 and 7.7% in 2013. The jobless rate falls to 5.2% by 2018, according to the White House's forecasts.

The administration's alternative economic forecast, though, factors in an unemployment rate of 9% next year, slightly below the 9.1% rate in 2011. The jobless rate is expected to fall only slightly to 8.5% by 2013, based on the alternative measure.

"In sum, economic growth and job creation, while positive, have not been strong enough to bring down the unemployment rate to an acceptable level," the White House budget office said in its summary.

President Obama will address Congress on Sept. 8, with the focus of his remarks falling on job creation. The Labor Department will release August nonfarm payrolls data Friday at 8:30 a.m. ET, with economists expecting the jobless rate to remain at 9.1%, unchanged from July.

The White House budget office also expects gross domestic product, or GDP, growth to remain weak in the next year, although researchers are not calling for a double dip recession.

The alternative economic forecast from the White House calls for real GDP growth of 1.7% this year, 2.6% in 2012 and 3.5% in 2013.

-- Written by Robert Holmes in Boston.

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