Unemployment Problem Will Not Clear Up in Time to Make President Obama Look Good

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"Could you guys hire, like, 2 or 3 million people?" Photo: Dennis Brack-Pool/Getty Images

Even though corporate profits are soaring, the economy isn't growing fast enough to lower the unemployment rate, which is still stuck at an unsightly 9.6 percent. In fact, the Federal Reserve projected yesterday that a stubbornly high unemployment rate is going to stick around long after overstaying its welcome, like Bristol Palin on Dancing With the Stars, although the Fed didn't explicitly make that comparison. By the end of 2011, a full year from now, it'll be down to only 9 percent. By the end of 2012, it will have fallen to just 8 percent. Obviously this would be horrible for the millions of Americans who will remain out of work. But another victim may very well be President Obama. In the five presidential elections since 1960 in which the unemployment rate was over 6 percent in November — 1960, 1976, 1980, 1984, and 1992 — voters kicked out the incumbent party in four of them.

Fed lowers economic expectations for 2011 [WP]