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Unfortunately, Dr. Summers, Unemployment Is Also “Running Somewhat Ahead of What the Administration Was Forecasting”

April 05, 2010

In the April 5, 2010 New York Times, Dr. Larry Summers, “the president’s top economic adviser” said the U.S. economy is “running somewhat ahead of what the administration was forecasting.”  Unfortunately, as the chart below shows, the U.S. unemployment rate is also running “somewhat ahead of what the Administration was forecasting” if its 2009 stimulus bill passed. 

In fact, the current 2.3 percentage point gap between the actual unemployment rate (9.7% in March 2010) and the Administration’s pre-stimulus projection (7.4%) appears to be the biggest gap since Democrats’ stimulus plan passed — equaling the gap between the 10.0% actual unemployment rate and 7.7% forecast rate in December 2009.  That 2.3 percentage point gap works out to 3.6 million more currently unemployed Americans than the Administration forecast if its stimulus bill passed.

Source: Projection from January 2009 Romer/Bernstein report, with actual unemployment rate data from Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.