White House ' very concerned' sequester will reverse employment gains

But the White House cautioned the jobs numbers did not include pay periods after the implementation of the sequester, and the concern is that the layoffs, furloughs, and decreases in federal spending could reverse gains made in recent months.

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"You don't have to just take my word for it," Earnest said. "There are a lot of economic analysts who looked at the fourth quarter GDP numbers, who concluded that the looming sequester did have an impact on economic growth, a pretty significant one."

A January Commerce Department report found that the nation's gross domestic product shrunk by 0.1 percent, a surprise attributed to reduced defense spending in anticipation of the sequester.

Republicans on Friday applauded the employment gains in Friday's report, but said that the nation's economic growth was threatened by the country's deficit.

"Any job creation is positive news, but the fact is unemployment in America is still way above the levels the Obama White House projected when the trillion-dollar stimulus spending bill was enacted, and the federal government's ongoing spending binge has resulted in a debt that exceeds the size of our entire economy," House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in a statement. "As 180 economists said in a statement this week, our spending-driven deficit threatens our economy, and responsible spending cuts are needed to help put the country on a path to a balanced budget within ten years."