Washington: The US economy is recovering from the worst downturn, the White House said Friday as the latest figures indicated that the unemployment rate has dropped to 7.4 percent, the lowest level since December 2008.
"While more work remains to be done, Friday's employment report provides further confirmation that the US economy is continuing to recover from the worst downturn since the Great Depression," Alan B Krueger, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers to US President Barack Obama said.
"It is critical that we remain focused on pursuing policies to speed job creation and expand the middle class, as we continue to dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession that began in December 2007," he said.
The latest report from the Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS) indicates that the unemployment rate declined from 7.6 percent to 7.4 percent in July, reaching its lowest level since December 2008.
The unemployment rate for African Americans fell from 13.7 percent to 12.6 percent, also its lowest level since December 2008.
The unemployment rate for women fell from 7.3 percent to 7.0 percent, its lowest level since January 2009, and from 7.8 percent to 7.7 percent for men.
The economy has now added private sector jobs for 41 consecutive months, and a total of 7.3 million jobs have been added over that period. So far this year, 1.4 million private sector jobs have been added.
"With the recovery entering its fifth year, we need to build on the progress we have made so far and now is not the time for Washington to impose self-inflicted wounds. The across-the-board budget cuts known as the sequester continue to be a drag on the economy now and in the future," Krueger said.
"The Administration continues to urge Congress to replace the sequester with balanced deficit reduction, and promote the investments our economy needs to put more Americans back to work, such as by rebuilding our roads and bridges," he said.
First Published: Friday, August 2, 2013, 21:13