Obama plan would make small dent in jobless rate

By TOM RAUM | September 24, 2011 | 4:20 AM EDT

In this Sept. 22, 2011 photo, applicants wait in line for an interview at a New Seasons job fair at Life Point Church on NE 192nd Avenue, in Vancouver, Wash. (AP Photo/The Columbian, Zachary Kaufman)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Even if Congress passes President Barack Obama's jobs and tax plan right away the jobless rate will probably still hover in nosebleed territory for at least three more years.

The White House says the bill would produce 1.9 million new jobs in 2012. But that falls short of what's needed to put the economy back on track to return to pre-recession jobless levels of under 6 percent.

Today's unemployment rate is 9.1 percent.

The economy's persistent weakness has left 14 million people unemployed and more than 25 million unable to find full-time work.

Economists pretty much agree it will be a long road ahead no matter what Congress passes, and right now there's no common ground.