Economic Outlook Predicted at U of M

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Nearly four million jobs will be added to the national economy through 2007, according to a study released Thursday by a team of University of Michigan economists.

In their annual forecast of the U.S. economy, Saul Hymans, Joan Crary and Janet Wolfe predict 3.4 percent growth in the national economic output next year and 2.8 percent in 2007. That's down from last year's 4.2 percent growth rate and this year's 3.6 percent mark.

The Michigan economists predict 2.1 million jobs will be added nationwide in 2006, and another 1.8 million jobs will be added in 2007.

Unemployment will fall from 5.1 percent this year to 4.8 percent in each of the next two years, they say.

"The economic expansion remains healthy over the next two years," Hymans said. "The economy will add a substantial number of jobs, and unemployment will edge down."