By Ian Swanson - 06/05/09 12:22 PM EDT
Vice President Biden touted Friday’s unemployment numbers, saying they show the $787 billion stimulus package is saving and creating jobs.
Though the Labor Department reported 345,000 lost jobs in May, Biden said that was nearly one-third fewer than expected, and concluded it is an “encouraging sign” that the stimulus is creating jobs.
“So, look, in just over a hundred days — the Recovery Act is only a hundred days old — there is new economic activity and job creation in every single state in this country,” he said.
Republicans drew a different conclusion from Labor’s statistics, which showed May’s unemployment rate jumping from 8.9 percent to 9.4 percent.
House Minority Leader John Boehner (Ohio) said Washington Democrats have given the country “a trillion-dollar ‘stimulus’ that isn’t producing jobs immediately.”
“Doubling down on the Democrats’ plan to tax more, spend more and borrow more from our children and grandchildren is not the right answer to the economic crisis,” Boehner said in a statement.
Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele said the May unemployment figures show the stimulus is not creating jobs. “The president and vice president may believe they are ‘creating or saving’ jobs but no one else is fooled,” he said in a statement.
While Biden hailed the figures as a direct sign that the stimulus is having its desired effect, he emphasized that the administration is not satisfied with the figures.
“We will not be satisfied until we’re adding jobs on a monthly basis,” he said.