THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release February 6, 2009
STATEMENT ON TODAY’S EMPLOYMENT NUMBERS FROM CHRISTINA D. ROMER
CHAIR, PRESIDENT’S COUNCIL OF ECONOMIC ADVISERS
Today’s report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics is the latest evidence that the U.S. economy is contracting greatly. Payroll employment declined by 598,000 in January, bringing the total job loss since the recession began in December 2007 to 3.6 million. This is the largest 13-month job loss since the payroll employment series began in 1939. The unemployment rate rose from 7.2 to 7.6%, bringing the number of unemployed Americans to 11.6 million.
These numbers, and the very real suffering of American workers they represent, reinforce the need for bold fiscal action. If we fail to act, we are likely to lose millions more jobs and the unemployment rate could reach double digits. Prompt, well-designed fiscal policy is necessary to stop the decline and heal the economy. The American people are counting on leadership from Washington to help the economy recover and lay the long-term foundation for long-term economic growth.