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Romney predicts unemployment of 6 percent by end of first term


Mitt Romney said he expected the nation's unemployment rate to approach 6 percent by the end of his first term, should voters elect him president this fall.

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee said that he couldn't predict where the jobless rate might stand after a first year in office, but asserted it would decrease "quite substantially" depending on the conditions in the U.S. and abroad.

"I can't possibly predict precisely what the unemployment rate would be after one year. I can tell you, after a period of four years, by virtue of the policies we'd put in place, we'd get the unemployment rate down to 6 percent -- perhaps a little lower, depends in part upon the rate of growth [around] the globe, as well as what we're seeing here in the United States," Romney told TIME magazine's Mark Halperin.

Romney said in early May that an unemployment rate "over 4 percent is not cause for celebration."

The former Massachusetts governor said that his election and subsequent installation of policies would contribute to a change in perspective among businesses, and attract more investment as a result.

"We'd get the rate down quite substantially, and frankly, the key is we're going to show such job growth that there will be competition for employees again," he said. "And wages, we'll see the end of this decline."

The Congressional Budget Office, in its baseline projection of the economic and budget outlook, said it expects the unemployment rate to drop to around 6 percent naturally at some point in 2016, coincidentally toward the end of what would be a hypothetical first term for Romney.