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Grim outlook for unemployment

A job seeker looks through job listings at the East Bay Works One-Stop Career Center in Oakland, Calif.

TEXT OF STORY

BILL RADKE: The latest unemployment figures come out later this morning. They probably will not be the good news that Wall Street could use right about now. Economists are bracing for a loss of more than 620,000 jobs in February, which would put unemployment at 7.9 percent. This is priority one for today's Joint Economic Committee hearing in Congress as Ronni Radbill reports.


RONNI RADBILL: Experts say the battered economy isn't expected to turn around anytime soon. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney chairs the Joint Economic Committee. She says in fact it's getting worse.

CAROLYN MALONEY: What is troubling is that it's escalating. We've lost 3.6 million jobs with half the losses occurring in the past three months.

Diane Swonk, Chief Economist with Mesirow Financial, says a recovery could begin late this year, early next. But she adds, we're merely regaining lost ground.

DIANE SWONK: Even as the economy rebounds in 2010, we're expecting unemployment rates to hold above 9 percent the bulk of the year. That's a very high unemployment rate.

She says the economy won't get back on its feet until credit flows and companies hire again and that could take several years.

Experts say what's different about this recession is that it's seeped into all sectors of the economy. As one economist puts it, there's nowhere to hide.

In Washington, I'm Ronni Radbill for Marketplace.

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