The nation's unemployment rate will barely budge between now and the end of the year, economists surveyed by the Associated Press say.
Even as corporate profits rebound from a dreadful 2009, unemployment is staying stubbornly high. Companies may be squeezing more output from their current employees; they may also be wary of taking on new workers, lest they get caught flatfooted if the economy slows down significantly.
The economists polled by the AP don't think another slowdown is likely, at least. They do believe economic growth will moderate - from 3.5 percent in the first half of the year to less than 3 percent in the second half - but they see a double-dip recession as unlikely.
Still, more than 8 million jobs were eliminated since the start of the recession, and many of those affected by payroll cuts are still jobless. Without job creation, strong economic growth is unlikely - so high unemployment is a problem for everyone.
Yet some jobless people may be starting new businesses rather than waiting for jobs to be created. In a recent survey conducted by jobs site CareerBuilder, 26 percent of those out of work reported that they were thinking about starting new companies.
By Benjamin Foster