Goolsbee gestures as he addresses speaks during the 2010 meeting of the Wall Street Journal CEO Council in Washington
White House Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Austan Goolsbee gestures as he addresses the 2010 meeting of the Wall Street Journal CEO Council in Washington, November 16, 2010. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Austan Goolsbee, the White House chief economist said on Monday that he would resign from his post and go back to teaching later this year.

The White House said Goolsbee would quit in time to begin the approaching academic year at the University Of Chicago where he is a professor of economics in the graduate school of business, Reuters reported.

Goolsbee is the chairman of Obama's Council of Economic Advisers. His departure comes at a time when the U.S. economy is going through a tough phase. Recent disappointing data has called into the question the durability of the recovery, a situation, in which Goolsbee's departure is a major setback for President Barack Obama as he tries to lift the U.S. economy.

He has helped steer our country out of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, and although there is still much work ahead, his insights and counsel have helped lead us toward an economy that is growing and creating millions of jobs, Obama said in a statement.