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Unemployment in high 8 percent range end 2011: Fed official

FREDERICK, Maryland (Reuters) - U.S. unemployment is likely to be in the high 8 percent range at the end of 2011, a top official at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond said on Tuesday.

John Weinberg, the Richmond Fed’s research director, was asked for his forecast on unemployment for late 2011 during a panel discussion at a business forum.

He said the consensus of private forecasters saw something below 9 pct and in the high 8 pct range.

“I would not argue with that,” he said of the consensus.

Reporting by David Lawder, Editing by Andrew Hay

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