The White House on Friday greeted a better than expected August employment report as reassuring news after a recent spate of unsettling economic data, and reiterated it was working with Congress to take additional steps to boost U.S. growth and hiring.
Against the backdrop of some unsettling economic data in the past few weeks, today's numbers are reassuring that growth and recovery are continuing, said Christina Romer, chairwoman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.
At the same time, the fact that the growth of private sector payrolls is below the level needed to keep up with normal growth of the labor force is obviously unacceptable, Romer, in her last day at the CEA, said in a statement.
The August employment report showed a bigger-than-expected rise of 67,000 in private payrolls, while unemployment inched up a tenth of a percentage point to 9.6 percent.
Overall, U.S. nonfarm payrolls fell 54,000 as temporary jobs to conduct the decennial census dropped by 114,000.
There are a number of steps we could take to help increase private sector job growth and put the economy on a path of steadily declining unemployment. We will be working with Congress on these measures in the coming weeks, she said.
President Barack Obama on Monday pointed toward a number of options when he spoke about extending middle class tax cuts, investing in clean energy, spending more on infrastructure and delivering more tax cuts to businesses to encourage hiring.
(Reporting by Alister Bull, editing by Vicki Allen)