Washington: President Barack Obama's top economic aide Christina Romer said Sunday that the improving US economy is not yet out of recession, and will not turn the corner until the unemployment picture improves.
"The President has always said, and what I firmly believe, is you're not recovered until all of those people that want to work are back to work," said Romer, who heads up the White House Council of Economic Advisers.
"For the people on Main Street and throughout this country, they are still suffering, the unemployment rate is still 10 percent," she told NBC's "Meet the Press" program according to excerpts released ahead of the broadcast.
"I'm not going to say the recession is over until the unemployment rate is down to normal levels... where we were before the recession -- certainly in the five percent" range, Romer said.
Her comments came with the US Congress poised later this week to take up a new jobs bill to confront the soaring US unemployment rate.
Obama and his Democratic allies, facing deep US public worry over unemployment running at a quarter-century high, have redoubled their efforts to tackle the problem ahead of the November 2010 mid-term elections.
Earlier this month, official figures showed the unemployment rate fell in November to 10.0 percent from 10.2 percent, suggesting the problems in the job market had peaked.
First Published: Sunday, December 13, 2009, 20:45