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Economists See Unemployment Dipping Below 8 Percent This Year

By: KKTV/AP
By: KKTV/AP

More than 30 leading economists believe the unemployment rate should dip below 8 percent by Election Day, though likely won't fall below 6 percent for at least another three years.

An unemployment rate below 6 percent is considered a sign of a healthy economy.

Unemployment rates have dropped steadily since last year, going from 9.0 in September 2011 to 8.2 percent for March of this year. The unemployment rate began steadily rising in 2008 as the recession hit, peaked at 10 percent in October 2009, and remained stagnant for more than a year after.

If the unemployment rate does drop below 8 percent, it could potentially boost President Obama's re-election chances. Since 1956, no president has lost re-election when the unemployment rate dropped leading up to Election Day.

Thirty-two economists surveyed by the Associated Press believe the economy has entered a "virtuous cycle" where hiring boosts customer spending, which in turn fuels more hiring and spending.

They do, however, predict that hiring for the remainder of 2012 won't keep up with the brisk pace of the first few months.


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