WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve predicts unemployment will stay high over the next two years because recession-scarred Americans are likely to stay cautious making for only a moderate-paced economic recovery.
Fed policymakers say it will take “some time” for the economy and the jobs market to get back to normal. And, a minority think it could take more than five or six years for that to happen. Previously, Fed policymakers suggested it could take five or six years for economic conditions to return to full health.
In updated economic projections, the Fed says the unemployment rate this year could hover between 9.5 percent and 9.7 percent. Next year, it will drop to between 8.2 percent and 8.5 percent. By 2012, the jobless rate will range between 6.6 percent and 7.5 percent.