Latest numbers show recession still very real - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Latest numbers show recession still very real

WASHINGTON. - Unemployment jumped last month to 9.7 percent.

That's a 26-year high and discouraging news amid signs the economy is poised for a turnaround.

The White House has expected unemployment to top out around 10 percent but says there are other signs the economy is turning around.

Though 216,000 Americans lost their jobs the White House points out that the loss numbers have been getting smaller.

"We have not question been through a terrible situation but the trajectory is certainly in the right direction," said Christina Romer, a White House Council of Economic advisor.

President Obama has repeatedly said as the economy turns around jobs numbers will slowly follow. With unemployment creeping toward 10 percent, economists say a slow turn-around isn't much help.

"We need to create at least 100,000 jobs per month, probably a little bit more than that, to bring unemployment down and we're now losing a quarter million so we've got a long ways to go," said economist Mark Zandi.

The administration is counting on positive economic growth within the next six months.

Just Thursday, the vice president insisted the president's stimulus efforts are bearing fruit.

"The recovery act has created or saved between 500,000 to 750,000 jobs. As a matter of fact, some notable economists suggest the number is as high as a million," said Vice President Joe Biden.

Though Washington is trying to put a positive face on these latest statistics the people who represent those numbers are getting desperate.

"Since October I've probably put in probably close to 80 resumes and applications with very little response," said Roland Hall who is out of work.

The Federal Reserve says it expects the economy to start bouncing back by the end of the year but predicts employers will still be cautious about hiring.
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