White House warns that job creation will lag U.S. recovery

The pace of job creation will lag even as the U.S. economy recovers, White House budget director Peter Orszag warned Tuesday, adding that the coming months “will continue to be difficult ones for American workers.”

In remarks prepared for delivery at New York University, the director of the Office of Management and Budget said the economy is “somewhere between” the stages when hours worked increase and additional workers are hired.

“Unfortunately,” Orszag said, “even as the economy begins to turn around, the employment picture isn’t going to brighten immediately ? as the contrast between the recently reported GDP numbers and the unemployment numbers that we are expecting later this week will likely illustrate.”

Economists surveyed by MarketWatch expect that nonfarm payrolls shed 150,000 jobs in October and that the U.S. unemployment rate will tick up to 9.9 percent. The report is due out Friday morning.

The U.S. economy grew by 3.5 percent in the third quarter, the Commerce Department reported last week.

Orszag and others credit the $787 billion economic-stimulus bill signed by President Barack Obama earlier this year with adding to growth and creating jobs.

“Effectively all the growth in real GDP during the third quarter could be attributable ? either directly or indirectly ? to the recovery act,” Orszag said.

Last week, the White House said that the stimulus plan directly created or saved more than 650,000 jobs and that it’s “solidly on track” to meet its job-creation goal of 3.5 million jobs by the end of 2010.

Orszag also repeated that Obama is committed to cutting the federal deficit and that health-care reform legislation before Congress won’t add to the deficit.

(c) 2009, MarketWatch.com Inc. Source: McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.