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Employment Normalization to Take '4 or 5 Years'


The Labor Department said weekly jobless claims fell more than expected, which helped soothe some fears ahead of tomorrow's government employment report. The market had been rattled in the prior session after ADP reported a decline in payrolls last month. Scott Anderson, senior economist at Wells Fargo shared his insights.

Inside the Jobs Picture

“We’re expecting the weather, the decline in the jobless claims and the Census hiring will all lead to positive jobs number on Friday,” Anderson told CNBC.

In particular, he is watching for an improvement in working hours and hourly earnings rates in Friday's report.

“That’s almost as important as creating jobs right now in terms of building income growth and getting consumers to spend again,” he said.

However, Anderson said he it’s going to take “an awful long time” for the unemployment rate to return to normal levels and he expects a below-average recovery.

“We’re projecting maybe 4 or 5 years before we get the unemployment rate back down to what we consider a fully employed economy,” he said. “It’s going to be a long, slow slough—small businesses are not hiring.”

  • Watch Anderson's Previous Appearance on CNBC (Oct. 8, 2009)

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No immediate information was available for Anderson or his firm.