Recovering from worst downturn since Great Depression: White House

The US economy is on road to recovery from the worst downturn since Great Depression, a top White House official said.

Updated: Aug 04, 2012, 00:13 AM IST

Washington: The US economy is on road to recovery from the worst downturn since Great Depression, a top White House official said after the latest employment data revealed better than expected figures of 163,000 jobs added in July, giving an electoral boost to Barack Obama's campaign.

Alan Krueger, Chairman, Council of Economic Advisers, to the US President, said while there is more work that remains to be done, the employment report shows that the US economy is continuing to recover from the worst downturn since the Great Depression.

The surprise figures showed 163,000 jobs added in the month even as unemployment rate jumped up slightly to 8.3 per cent.

"It is critical that we continue the policies that build an economy that works for the middle class as we dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession that began in December 2007," he said.

Obama, he said, has proposed an extension of middle class tax cuts that would prevent families from facing a USD 2,200 tax increase next year.

"In addition, to create more jobs in particularly hard-hit sectors, President Obama continues to support the elements of the American Jobs Act that have not yet passed, including further investment in infrastructure to rebuild our nation's ports, roads and highways, and assistance to State and local governments to prevent layoffs and rehire hundreds of thousands of teachers and first responders," the White House official said.

Referring to the latest job figures, Krueger said this shows that private sector establishments added 172,000 jobs last month, and overall non-farm payroll employment rose by 163,000.

The economy has now added private sector jobs for 29 straight months, for a total of 4.5 million jobs during that period.

The household survey showed that the unemployment rate ticked up to 8.3 per cent in July (or, more precisely, the rate rose from 8.217 per cent in June to 8.254 per cent in July).

Acting BLS Commissioner John Galvin noted in his statement that the unemployment rate was "essentially unchanged" from June to July, he observed.

"The establishment survey indicated that manufacturing employment continues to expand and manufacturers added 25,000 jobs in July.

"After losing millions of manufacturing jobs in the years before and during the recession, the economy has added 532,000 manufacturing jobs since January 2010 ? the strongest growth for any 30-month period since June 1989," he said.

He pointed out that Obama has proposed tax incentives for manufacturers, and measures to create manufacturing hubs and discourage sending jobs overseas to help the revival.