More Americans Concerned about Jobs, Bills

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New economic numbers are out and the forecast is not good.

The Federal Reserve now predicts the economy will continue to shrink this year pushing the jobless rate higher.

Click the player to watch the report from CBN News Jennifer Wishon followed by Pat Robertson's comments why we should not be afraid, the U.S. economy will roar back.

Under the new projections, unemployment will rise to between 8 1/2 to nearly 9 percent this year.

Some Fed officials fear it will take *five to six years* for the economy and employment to return to healthy levels. They're now working feverishly to get credit - the economy's lifeline - flowing again.

"In the United States, the Federal Reserve has done, and will continue to do, everything possible within the limits of our authority to assist in restoring our nation to financial stability and economic prosperity as quickly as possible," Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said.

A new Associated Press poll shows Americans are growing increasingly concerned. Nearly half of those questioned, 47percent, worry about losing a job. At least 65 percent are somewhat worried about paying their bills.

More than half, 53 percent, aren't confident they'll have enough money to live comfortably in retirement.

At the center of the economic crisis: bad mortgages and plunging home values. President obama is attacking the heart of the problem with his "Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan" announced Wednesday. He believes that, paired with his $787-billion stimulus package will help.

"The proof is in the pudding," Standard & Poor's Chief Investment Strategist Sam Stovall said. "Let's just see how quickly it can be enacted and how many people right off the bat will be benefited from this."

The U.S. is the epicenter of a now global downturn that has countries like Japan, Germany and Britain facing their sharpest declines since WWII.

Snd since employment is typically the last piece of the economy to heal as businesses slowly test the water before hiring again, unemployment levels are expected to remain high through 2011.

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Jennifer Wishon

Jennifer Wishon

CBN News

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