(CNSNews.com) - Three days after the U.S. Department of Labor reported that the national unemployment rate had ticked up from 9.1 percent in May to 9.2 percent in June, President Barack Obama said that the loss of jobs in the public sector is “evidence” that his $830-billion economic stimulus legislation worked.
“Now, without relitigating the past, I’m absolutely convinced, and the vast majority of economists are convinced, that the steps we took in the Recovery Act saved millions of people their jobs or created a whole bunch of jobs,” Obama said at his Monday press conference.
“And part of the evidence of that is as you see what happens with the Recovery Act phasing out,” he said. “When I came into office and budgets were hemorrhaging at the state level, part of the Recovery Act was giving states help so they wouldn’t have to lay off teachers, police officers, firefighters. As we’ve seen that federal support for states diminish, you’ve seen the biggest job losses in the public sector--teachers, police officers, firefighters losing their jobs.”
President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act on Feb. 17 2009. His top economic adviser, Christina Romer, had reported that the act would prevent the national unemployment rate from reaching 8 percent. Initially, the Congressional Budget Office estimated the act would cost $787 billion. CBO now estimates it cost $830 billion.