After three years of economic pain, a growing number of economists think 2011 will finally bring what everyone’s been hoping for: More jobs and a self-sustaining recovery.
“We’re looking at some leading indicators on employment, and they’re all flashing green lights,” said Bernard Baumohl of the Economic Outlook Group, a Princeton, N.J. research firm.
Though most economists still expect a painfully high unemployment rate of about 9% at the end of this year, some think that stat masks more important signs of strength.
Economists surveyed by CNNMoney are forecasting an average of 2.5 million jobs added to the U.S. economy this year, which would be the best one-year gain in hiring since the white-hot labor market of 1999.
Of the dozen economists who responded, several of the more bullish are predicting more than 3 million jobs added — about 250,000 jobs a month. Even the most pessimistic of those surveyed, David Wyss of Standard & Poor’s, expects 1.8 million jobs to be added this year, roughly double the pace of hiring in 2010.