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US Chamber sees limp economy, high unemployment rate in election year

US Chamber of Commerce President Thomas Donohue offered a grim outlook Thursday for cutting the politically sensitive unemployment rate, citing slow economic growth.

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In this December 2011 file photo, people wait in line to enter a job fair, in, Portland, Ore. US Chamber of Commerce President Thomas Donohue offered a grim outlook Thursday for cutting the politically sensitive unemployment rate ahead of Election 2012, citing slow economic growth.

Rick Bowmer/AP/File

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US Chamber of Commerce President Thomas Donohue offered a grim outlook for cutting the politically sensitive unemployment rate ahead of Election 2012, citing a forecast for relatively weak economic growth.

“The state of American business is improving – but it is doing so weakly, slowly, and insufficiently to put our nation back to work,” Mr. Donohue in his annual State of American Business address. The Chamber is the nation’s largest organization representing both small and large businesses. 

A key challenge to President Obama’s reelection effort is the fact that 23 million Americans are unemployed, unwillingly working part-time, or have given up looking for jobs. To put these individuals back to work, “our economy has to grow much faster than it is today,” Donohue said. The Chamber predicts the US economy “will actually slow down in the early months of the year,” he said. 

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