A new Associated Press survey of economists suggests steady hiring will get strong enough to push the unemployment rate below 8 percent by election day yet the same economists think it will be at least three more years before unemployment falls below 6 percent - a sign of a healthy economy.
The economists predict the pace of hiring the rest of 2012 won't be as brisk as it was earlier this year. The survey results come before the April jobs report due out Friday.
The latest housing figures from appraiser Gary Crabtree also suggest a turnaround in the real estate market but Crabtree remains highly skeptical. Crabtree's report shows the median price has increased an unprecedented $25,000 in the past two months while the number of foreclosures and homes for sale has plummeted.
Real estate agents are reporting bidding wars and buyers willing to kick in extra cash to close a deal if the appraisal doesn't meet the sale price. Crabtree thinks if this continues it has the making of another housing bubble, possibly fueled by government intervention and banks holding back foreclosures from the market.