White House sees 10 percent unemployment within months

WASHINGTON Mon Jun 22, 2009 4:17pm EDT

Applicants line up at a booth offering vocational services at a career fair held as part of the National Urban League's Economic Empowerment Tour in Dallas, Texas June 13, 2009. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi

Applicants line up at a booth offering vocational services at a career fair held as part of the National Urban League's Economic Empowerment Tour in Dallas, Texas June 13, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Jessica Rinaldi

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. unemployment rate is likely rise from already high levels to 10 percent in the next couple of months, a White House spokesman said on Monday.

"I think the president has said this, and I would certainly say this, I think you're likely to see unemployment at 10 percent within the next couple of months," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters.

The U.S. unemployment rate already stands at 9.4 percent, the highest level in about 25 years, and many analysts believe it could continue to climb despite the $787 billion economic stimulus package passed early this year by Congress.

Earlier this year, the Obama administration had predicted the unemployment rate would peak at 8 percent before beginning to fall toward the end of 2009.

President Barack Obama is expected to address the outlook for the economy at a White House press conference on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Doug Palmer; editing by Leslie Adler)

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