Vice President Joe Biden said the latest figures on job growth in the U.S. economy are “disappointing” and underscore the need to renew extended unemployment compensation for millions of Americans.
“If we don’t extend them, we will lose an additional 600,000 jobs” by depriving recipients of spending power, the vice president said at the White House. He urged Congress to act quickly on continuing the benefits and also pleaded for renewing Bush-era tax cuts for the middle class.
The consequences of letting the tax cuts lapse “are quite frankly dire,” he said.
The Labor Department reported today that the economy added 39,000 jobs in November, fewer than the most pessimistic forecast by economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. The nation’s unemployment rate climbed to 9.8 percent, the highest since April.
Analysts expected the government to report an increase of about 150,000 jobs last month, according to a median forecast of 87 economists surveyed by Bloomberg.
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