White House economic adviser Christina Romer on Friday said payrolls data was consistent with a trend of moderating job losses, but the unemployment rate would stay high for a while.


Even as we see things start to stabilize and hopefully grow again, we do know that unemployment tends to lag, and so that the unemployment rate is going to be high and probably stay high for a while, precisely because that is sort of the normal pattern as we come out of recession, Romer told Bloomberg Television.


Romer, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said the data, which showed a much smaller-than-expected loss of 345,000 non-farm U.S. jobs in May, was not obviously an outlier because it followed a pattern of gradually smaller job losses in the past few months.


She said rising bond yields reflected increasing confidence by investors to move from the safest assets -- U.S. Treasury debt -- to other assets that carry more risk, but noted some concern about higher mortgage rates.


The refinancing boom that we've had in the last 3-4 months has been very good for consumers. It's really kind of acted like a tax cut when you have your mortgage payment go down, so obviously we'd be happier if mortgage rates were lower and we're just going to have to see, again, sort of how all of this plays out.