Vice President Joe Biden reportedly gave a stark assessment of the economy by warning that "there's no possibility to restore eight million jobs lost in the Great Recession."
Biden said that by the time he and President Obama took office in 2008, the gross domestic product had shrunk and hundreds of thousands of jobs had been lost, CBS.com reported.
"We inherited a god-awful mess," he said at a recent fundraiser with Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., in Milwaukee. Biden said there was "no way to regenerate $3 trillion that was lost. Not misplaced, lost," CBS quoted Biden as saying.
Claims for jobless benefits fell by the largest number in two months, but were still high enough to signal weak job growth. Meanwhile, the Senate failed to pass an extension of unemployment benefits.
Biden said the economy is improving and noted that in the past four quarters, there has been 4 percent growth in the economy. During the last five months, more than 500,000 private sector jobs were created. "We know that's not enough," he said.
Biden did, however, defended the administration when it comes to fiscal restraint in a year when spending is polling higher than usual among voter concerns, swamppolitics.com reported.
Biden said the Obama White House has introduced a proposed budget freeze and pushed for a debt commission that Republicans ultimately rejected, swamppolitics.com reported.
"We are on our way out of this recession," Biden said.
Meanwhile, investors anxiously await Friday’s crucial June jobs data for clues on how the economy may weather recent storms that drove Wall Street's major indexes down for the year.
Non-farm payrolls are forecast to shed 110,000 jobs in June, according to the Labor Department's report. Although much of that drop is due to the government cutting half of its temporary Census workers, another weak reading for private-sector hiring will disappoint investors.
"The truth is that without job creation, we're in for a tougher time, and I mean real job creation, not temporary job creation, not part-time job creation -- real job creation," Kenneth Polcari, a floor trader at the New York Stock Exchange with Icap Corporates, told Reuters.
The unemployment rate is forecast to rise to 9.8 percent in June from May's rate of 9.7 percent, according to economists polled by Reuters.
That isn’t far below the peak jobless rate of 10.2 percent hit last October -- a year after Wall Street's meltdown resulted in one of the worst recessions in decades.
Without solid growth in hiring, the U.S. economy is likely to limp along as most consumers refrain from spending on anything but the bare necessities. Consumer spending accounts for about two-thirds of U.S. economic activity.
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