The U.S. unemployment rate could fall below 10 percent by the end of 2020 despite surging to 14.7 percent in April, Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia said on Thursday.
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"I think that we can get under 10 percent by the end of the year," Scalia told FOX Business' Stuart Varney. "I really do believe that as hard as this has been, for American workers and their families, it was always meant to be temporary. We had an extraordinarily strong economy."
The Bureau of Labor Statistics will release the May unemployment report on Friday.
"Tomorrow’s report will be a hard report, but remember, it will reflect where we were in the middle of May," Scalia said. "Things have changed a lot since then."
Other economists have made unemployment rate predictions much less optimistic than Scalia's. Boston Federal Reserve Bank President Eric Rosengren said in late May that he expects the U.S. unemployment rate to be a "double digit" number at the end of the year.
Scalia's comments come amid staggering unemployment numbers, although the number of Americans filing for unemployment insurance fell below 2 million last week. It was the ninth straight weekly decline since the number peaked at 6.9 million in late March.