Newly minted Council of Economic Advisors head Austan Goolsbee said Sunday that he expects the unemployment rate, currently at 9.6 percent, to remain at high levels for a long time.
Goolsbee declined to predict a specific unemployment rate for the end of 2010, saying only that he didn’t expect a decline in joblessness to happen anytime soon, and “The labor market is significantly weakened and has been for some time. We have to do everything we can to try to create jobs.”
Goolsbee’s predecessor, Christina Romer, had predicted that thanks to the Obama administration’s stimulus package, the unemployment rate would remain below 8 percent in 2010, and without stimulus the jobless rate would hit 9 percent. Clearly, those estimates proved overly rosy. Romer has since returned to her old job, teaching economics at the University of California, Berkeley.