WASHINGTON - White House economic adviser Christina Romer said on Wednesday that the U.S. employment picture was stable, with job growth expected by spring.
Speaking on ABC's Good Morning America program, Romer also said she believes there is bipartisan support in Congress to preserve jobs by providing new assistance to state governments struggling with yawning budget deficits.
President Barack Obama has made job creation his top priority in 2010 in a bid to address public anxiety about high unemployment and prospects for a slow economic recovery.
Right now the employment numbers look basically stable, Romer said days after the U.S. jobless rate for January fell to a five-month low of 9.7 percent, just below the psychologically important 10 percent mark.
We think we're going to see positive job growth by spring, she told ABC.
Democrats in Congress, led by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, have unveiled a jobs bill that relies on tax cuts to drive employment growth.
The approach has been criticized in some quarters as being too small to aid job growth and lacking in assistance for state governments that are trimming payrolls to cope with fiscal problems.
But Romer appeared optimistic about the prospects for federal aid to states.
Senator Reid has made it very clear that the package he's talking about is one step, she said.
And we anticipate as we go through, I think there is a bipartisan realization of just how much states are still suffering and how state fiscal relief could help to keep teachers and all of those people that are working in our state governments employed.
(Reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Paul Simao)