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Unemployment Claims fewest since 2008WASHINGTON  — The White House plans to announce a more optimistic jobs forecast this month, based in part on the shaky premise that Congress will pass President Barack Obama‘s economic agenda.

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White House economist Alan Krueger says the budget the president will release Monday forecasts the unemployment rate will average 8.9 percent in 2012. But he says that estimate was made in mid-November and is already “stale and out of date.”

So the White House plans to issue a new forecast projecting the creation of 2 million jobs this year. That could bring the national unemployment rate down to about 8 percent.

But the sunnier projection is based in part on whether Congress passes the president’s economic agenda, including elements of his jobs bill that have been previously rejected by lawmakers.

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