Uh, thanks President Obama. Wasn't the stimulus supposed to keep unemployment from going above 7%?
(Yahoo Finance)- Even as the economy recovers, the days of 5% unemployment may be gone for good.
A chorus of economists and labor market observers say that the “natural” or “structural” rate of unemployment has shifted up, meaning that Americans looking for work should get used to having a harder time finding it. The unemployment rate is currently 9% and could take until 2016 to reach the natural rate.
The so-called natural unemployment rate is somewhere around 7%, according to Mark Vitner, a senior economist at Wells Fargo. Other economists peg the natural unemployment rate somewhere between 5.5% and 7%. They said the figure will be held higher by a skills mismatch in the labor market that has been growing since the 1970s, the recent extension of unemployment benefits and the 2009 minimum wage increase.
“Businesses are looking to hire, but the workers they are looking to hire are not there in the abundance that they want them to be,” Vitner said.
Slightly more than half of U.S. businesses are having trouble finding the right candidate for open jobs, according to a survey released today of 1,322 U.S. businesses by global recruitment firm ManpowerGroup. In 2010, only 14% of respondents had similar gripes.