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Nation’s Unemployment Picture Expected to Improve

Experts agree that job creation is critical to getting the housing and mortgage markets back on track â€" both in curbing delinquencies by ensuring homeowners have the ability to keep up with their mortgage payments and in giving consumers the confidence and security they need to become homebuyers.
[IMAGE] If unemployment remains elevated for an extended period, the housing recovery is expected to grind along at a snail's pace. Currently the nation's unemployment rate sits at a 26-year high. But what can we expect heading into the new year?

According to Patrick Newport, U.S. economist, for the international research firm ""IHS Global Insight"":http://www.ihsglobalinsight.com, ""The key for housing in 2011 and thereafter is employment growth….The economy is likely to deliver on jobs going forward. We expect the economy to add about 960,000 jobs during 2010, followed by 2.2 million more in 2011 and 2.9 million more in 2012.""

A recent forecast from the ""UCLA Anderson School of Management"":http://uclaforecast.com/ predicts slightly weaker job growth over the next two years â€" 1.8 million in 2011 and 2.4 million in 2012.

David Shulman, a senior economist with UCLA, commented, ""Unfortunately, even with the jobs gains averaging 150,000 per a month in 2011 and 200,000 a month in 2012, unemployment will remain above 9 percent through the third quarter of 2012.""

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The latest Employment Outlook Survey from ""Manpower, Inc."":http://www.manpower.com, which queried more than 18,000 employers, found that 14 percent anticipate an increase in staff levels in their Q1 2011 hiring plans, while 10 percent expect a decrease in payrolls, resulting in a net employment outlook of +4 percent.

Seventy- three percent of employers expect no change in their hiring plans, according to Manpower's survey. The final 3 percent indicate they are undecided about their hiring intentions over the first three months of 2011.

""The fact that hiring expectations are trending upward is an encouraging sign,"" said Jonas Prising, Manpower president of the Americas. ""This quarter's survey responses paint a picture of a job market that is easing up, although not as quickly as anyone would like. We are still stuck in first gear, but the ongoing sector-wide improvement we have seen over the last year suggests that the labor market is ready to shift to a higher gear in 2011.""

According to a recent Bank of America Merrill Lynch survey, financial executives at U.S. companies expressed more optimism that their businesses will hire employees and see revenue growth in 2011.

Of the 801 executives surveyed in the bank's annual CFO Outlook, 47 percent said they expect their companies to hire additional employees next year, up from 28 percent who forecast hiring last year. Only 6 percent said they expect layoffs, compared with 9 percent last year. In addition, 64 percent of CFOs expect revenue growth in 2011.

""Despite the challenging economic climate, many CFOs have growing confidence that their companies have weathered the worst of the storm and are poised for expansion,"" said Laura Whitley, global commercial products executive at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. ""Although concerns about the economy remain, the increase in CFOs who expect to hire employees could be crucial to improving the nation's unemployment rate.""

About Author: Carrie Bay

Carrie Bay is a freelance writer for DS News and its sister publication MReport. She served as online editor for DSNews.com from 2008 through 2011. Prior to joining DS News and the Five Star organization, she managed public relations, marketing, and media relations initiatives for several B2B companies in the financial services, technology, and telecommunications industries. She also wrote for retail and nonprofit organizations upon graduating from Texas A&M University with degrees in journalism and English.
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