Exclusive: White House economic advisers say unemployment forecast demands 'immediate action'

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two top White House economists on Wednesday pushed back against overly rosy interpretations of the Congressional Budget Office's economic forecasts, and called for immediate action to avert the risk of persistent and long-lasting U.S. unemployment.

Jared Bernstein and Heather Boushey, members of the Council of Economic Advisers, said the CBO's "dire" forecast that 7 million people will still be out of work in 2021 underscored the urgency of President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion rescue plan.

"The costs of inaction are far higher than the costs of acting too aggressively," they wrote in a lengthy blog post viewed by Reuters. "We should not wait for years for the economy to return to full employment and get the economy back to pre-pandemic expectations."

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Andrea Ricci)