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White House expects sharp jobless rise

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Friday, Oct 24, 2008

The White House braced the US public on Thursday for a sharp rise in layoffs and unemployment stemming from the global economic crisis, amid fresh warnings of a painful and lasting recession.

Spokeswoman Dana Perino said former Federal Reserve chief Alan Greenspan was right to warn, in testimony to a US congressional panel, of what he called “a significant rise in layoffs and unemployment.”

“I think that that is right. And I think that’s what we have been saying, that we’re in for a rocky road on the employment front,” Perino told reporters.

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Perino also braced the US public for a possible recession — technically defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth — saying “we expect our GDP (gross domestic product) number next week not to be a good one, and the next quarter could probably be tough, as well.”

“I don’t forecast recessions,” she said, but “looking at reality and how long it’s going to take for people to return this country to job growth, it could be a while.”

“We’ve seen a tremendous slowdown in our economy” over the past month, and “we’re in for what’s probably going to be a tough quarter, and that’s just reality,” said Perino.

This article was posted: Friday, October 24, 2008 at 3:52 am

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