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Unemployment Report ‘Very Solid’ Across Board, Goolsbee Says

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March 4 (Bloomberg) -- Today’s unemployment report shows that “private sector job growth was extremely strong,” Austan Goolsbee, the White House’s chief economist, said.

“It’s pretty solid, and across the board,” Goolsbee, the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, said on CNBC.

The Labor Department said employers added 192,000 workers in February as the jobless rate fell to 8.9 percent from 9 percent in January. The jobless rate declined as the number of unemployed fell by 190,000 and number of employed rose by 250,000. The size of the labor force increased by 60,000.

“It’s a very solid number,” said Goolsbee, who added that unemployment still is too high and that “the hole we are coming out of was very, very deep.”

In a statement issued later, Goolsbee said administration policies including a payroll tax cut last December and investment tax credits “are creating the conditions for sustained growth and job creation.”

“The overall trajectory of the economy has improved dramatically over the past two years, but there will surely be bumps in the road ahead,” Goolsbee said.

Republican leaders in Congress welcomed increased hiring and a lower jobless rate but said the administration must do better.

“Unemployment is still far above where the Obama administration promised it would be,” House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, said in a statement.

“An unemployment rate of 8.9 percent is still too high,” said House Republican Leader Eric Cantor, of Virginia, in a statement. “We need to continue our efforts to make sure private sector employers have sure footing to invest in new employees and expand their businesses.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Roger Runningen in Washington at rrunningen@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva at msilva34@bloomberg.net