Economists say that the unemployment rate will hover around 6.1 percent for the rest of
2003 and 5.9 percent for all of 2004, according to Reuters.
The news agency surveyed 25 economists and found that, while the economists
believe there are some signs of economic growth, they expect the employment
turnaround won't come for months.
Economists say payroll gains must be larger than the 57,000 increase reported
for September to have a real impact on unemployment figures.
"It would take jobs growth of 200,000 to 300,000 a month for six months
or more to make a dent in unemployment," says James Glassman, senior economist
at J.P. Morgan.
Glassman notes improved reports on the jobs front could encourage discouraged
jobless workers to reenter the hunt for jobs, which could weigh on unemployment
figures, Reuters reports.
Analysts have been trying to determine the factors that are making this a jobless recovery. Some analysts are contending the job losses since 2001 may be permanent
and a result of a shift in the economy.
"I suspect that a large part of these net job losses--particularly in
manufacturing, airlines and telecommunications--are permanent and will not be
reversed as the economy gains steam," says Susan Bies of the Federal Reserve.
"Instead, new jobs will need to be created in other sectors of the economy
to replace them."