The Federal Reserve Board’s policy-setting Open Market Committee has grown more pessimistic about the job market’s pace of recovery, according to minutes of the group’s November meeting that were released Tuesday.
The committee now projects that the unemployment rate, currently 9.6 percent, will average from 9.5 percent to 9.7 percent for 2010, up from a projection in June of 9.2 percent to 9.5 percent. For 2011, the committee projects a rate averaging 8.9 percent to 9.1 percent, up from June estimates of 8.3 percent to 8.7 percent.
The report noted that weak demand for companies’ products “remained a key reason” that employers are reluctant to add workers.
Moderate employment growth on both the national and local level has done little to budge high jobless rates.
Nationally, the private sector added 159,000 jobs in October, the 10th straight month of growth. But the unemployment rate hasn’t moved much all year much from the current 9.6 percent.
On Long Island the private sector has added jobs for the past seven months. Yet the unemployment rate hasn’t dipped below 6 percent all year. In October 2007, before the recession hit, the Island’s unemployment rate was 3.7 percent, considered full employment.