In its first reaction to this morning’s jobs report, the White House says the latest figures provide “further evidence that the economy is continuing to heal” but that the pace of recovery is still not fast enough.
The Labor Department announced today that the unemployment rate in November fell 0.4 percentage points to 8.6 percent, “the lowest unemployment rate since March 2009,” Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Alan Krueger writes in a White House blog. The report shows the nation’s employers added 120,000 jobs last month. Krueger also notes that the economy has added private sector jobs for 21 straight months. “Nonetheless, we need faster growth to put more Americans back to work,” he writes.
Krueger goes on to argue that the president’s $447 billion America Jobs Act “is the right medicine to sustain and strengthen the recovery.”
“In particular, with 13.3 million Americans still unemployed, and 43 percent of them unemployed for 6 months or longer, it would be a setback for the economy and American families if Congress were to allow extended unemployment benefits to expire at the end of the year. The president’s proposal to extend and expand the payroll tax cut for workers and small businesses also would provide a substantial boost to economic growth and job creation,” he says.
As it does every month, the White House notes that the monthly unemployment numbers are “volatile” and that “it is important not to read too much into any one monthly report.”