Press Release

Weathering the Storm: Creating Jobs in the Recession

CAP Action's Heather Boushey testifies before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Policy.

Read the full testimony (CAPAF).

I’d like to start with the good news. On Friday, we learned that the unemployment rate fell to 10.0 percent and only 11,000 workers lost their jobs in November, both numbers were better than had been expected. This is unambiguous good news for workers and their families.

This data provides an indication that the steps that Congress and the Obama administration have taken to get the economy back on track have been effective. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act signed into law last February has worked its magic and injected momentum into the economy, boosting economic growth in the third quarter and saving or creating upwards of 1 million to 1.5 million jobs. Recovery dollars will continue to pump up demand and add jobs to the economy as the remaining $553 billion is spent in 2010.

But we are by no means fully out of the woods. There are indications that employers are beginning to need to ramp up hiring, but have yet to actually do so. We need Congress to be vigilant in continuing to promote job creation and reducing the hardships among those hardest hit by the recession.

The economic effects of ARRA dollars will start to diminish beginning in the middle of 2010—well before we will be fully out of the woods. Economists now predict economic growth of only about 2 percent for 2010 given the policy efforts already in place. This is a clear indication that without additional action on the part of Congress and the Obama administration, the U.S. economy could easily slip into an extended jobless recovery—or see the recovery stall altogether.

Read the full testimony (CAPAF).

Heather Boushey is senior economist at the Center for American Progress Action Fund.