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Economists expect the U.S. to add an average of 127,400 jobs per month in the first quarter of 2013, according to the fourth-quarter Survey of Professional Forecasters released today by the Philadelphia Federal Reserve. That's down from an estimate of 151,700 in the forecasters' last report.
Annually, the forecasters estimate the U.S. will add an average of 143,300 jobs per month in 2013, down from the estimate of 155,600 for 2012. The annual estimates in the new report released today are little change from the previous report released last quarter.
The unemployment rate is estimated trend down to an average annual level of 7.8 percent in 2013, according to today's report. However, it is forecast to reach 6.9 percent in 2015.
Forecasters also estimate that growth in real gross domestic product will ease to 1.7 percent in the first quarter from the estimate of 1.8 percent for the fourth quarter. However, growth is estimated to pick up again in the second quarter of 2013. The GDP estimates in today's report are little changed from the previous report.
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