8:05 PM PT – Friday, December 4, 2020
As the U.S. economy continues to feel the effects of the pandemic, the Labor Department’s November unemployment report revealed slower job growth than expected.
Jobless claims fell from 6.9 to 6.7 percent, which added 245,000 jobs to the economy. However, this was 50 percent lower than what was originally forecasted.
On Friday, Chief White House Economist Joe Lavorgna spoke to One America News and emphasized that the Labor Bureau’s data still included many positive reports.
“We’re down 54 percent from where we were in April,” Lavorgna stated. “Within that number, private employment rose almost 500,000, which is fantastic.”
He added that major minority groups have seen unemployment rates fall as well. Lavorgna noted the country’s GDP growth is up 11 percent, emphasizing that the U.S. economy looks “awfully powerful.”
Meanwhile, various states and local governments have implemented further restrictions as coronavirus cases surge. However, Lavorgna stated that investors are looking past any temporary economic slowdowns due to vaccine developments.
The White House economist also discussed the prospects of a stimulus bill. He said the government would like to offer more help to the American people for COVID-19 testing and paycheck protection.
“Negotiations are continuing, which is good, but we’d certainly like to give people extra assistance even though we’re in this ‘V-shaped boom,’” Lavorgna stated. “There’s certainly a lot of hardship and pain out there and if we can do more to help people that is what we’ve always tried to do.”
In the meantime, Chief Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow displayed optimism about the U.S. economy.
On Friday, Kudlow said the economy has come back strong. Although 10 million Americans remain jobless, he noted it’s lower than the unemployment rate at the start of the pandemic.
“We’ve got 150 million Americans working and that’s way up,” Kudlow emphasized. “The 10 million who are unemployed is way down.”
These improvements come as unemployment benefits are set to expire by the end of the year, which puts pressure on Congress and the White House to pass a new stimulus package by January.