The White House pitched Friday's jobless report as the start to stabilization while President Barack Obama planned to push for another $5 billion to help create much-needed jobs.
Obama planned an afternoon event to announce more government spending to create tens of thousands of green jobs as the nation is weighed down by an unemployment rate stuck at 10 percent. He also was expected to reiterate the administration's call for an additional $5 billion in spending for clean energy manufacturing.
Last month, Vice President Joe Biden first proposed that expansion of the clean technology program, which would require Congress to act.
Meanwhile, a senior White House economist said the tanking economy is showing signs of fresh life.
"Real recoveries come in fits and starts and November was in some sense a start and December was a little bit of a fit," Christina Romer, chair of Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, said in an interview with The Associated Press.
She pointed out that the new numbers are a tenth of the job losses from a year ago and predicted real job growth before the summer.
"We're starting to see stabilization in employment," she said. "Obviously, the next step is job growth, we're thinking we're going to see that by the spring."
To help that along, Obama planned to announce funding for projects to develop solar and wind power and energy management technologies. The funding is part of the $787 billion economic stimulus package Congress approved early last year.
Obama is also set to talk about the steps he's taking to combat unemployment. The government says 85,000 jobs were shed in December.
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