Obama Warns of More U.S. Job Losses Ahead

Economists believe that unemployment will exceed 10% and remain high well into 2010.

President Barack Obama said on Nov. 2 that the U.S. economy will continue to lose jobs in coming months despite exiting a recession, striking a cautious tone on unemployment. "We anticipate that we're going to continue to see some job losses in the weeks and months to come," Obama said.

At a meeting of the Economic Recovery Advisory Board at the White House on Nov. 2, Obama stressed that the actions taken by his government had "helped to stem what could have been a disastrous situation for the economy," adding that "we are starting to see stabilization and indeed some improvement." But he acknowledged that "we are still seeing production levels that are significantly below peak levels. And most distressing is the fact that job growth continues to lag."

Obama said that "bold, innovative action" to fight unemployment would be an "overriding focus" for his administration, and he called on both Congress and the private sector to help.

He said he would discuss with the board "new models for where future job growth is going to come from," based on exports, production and investments in "green" jobs.

Economic indicators released last week indicated that the U.S. exited its recession this summer, but Obama emphasized that there is usually a lag time of several months before businesses resume hiring.

Unemployment hit 9.8% in September, the highest level since 1983. Economists believe the figure will exceed 10% and remain high well into 2010.

On Nov. 1, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said the U.S. economy could start creating jobs in the first quarter of 2010.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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