The White House today celebrated an employment report showing the economy added 236,000 jobs and the unemployment rate declined from 7.9 percent to 7.7 percent, but it also put Republicans on notice that it may blame them if the next report isn’t quite as good.
In his monthly statement on the jobs report, White House Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Alan Krueger was careful to note that the data were collected before the sequester kicked in.
It is important to bear in mind that the reference period for today’s surveys was the week of February 10-16 for the household survey and the pay period containing February 12th for the establishment survey, both of which were before sequestration began.
The Administration continues to urge Congress to move toward a sustainable Federal budget in a responsible way that balances tax loophole closing, entitlement reform, and sensible spending cuts, while making critical investments in the economy that promote growth and job creation and protecting our most vulnerable citizens.
The White White House has already been making the case that even the prospect of the sequester was harming economic growth. In a briefing last week, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney alleged preparations for the sequester were already lowering gross domestic product statistics and orders for durable goods.
Carney asserted that the sequester itself will shave “a full half of a percent or more” off of GDP and cost “up to 750,000 jobs.”