Obama’s economic chief says job numbers are a bump in the road

The private sector created 83,000 jobs in May, less than half the number of new jobs of April. Local governments, however, continued to lay off employees.

Goolsbee stressed the arc of job creation over the past five quarters but acknowledged that economic growth needs to pick up if the unemployment rate is going to fall.

“While the private sector has added more than 2.1 million jobs over the past 15 months, the unemployment rate is unacceptably high and faster growth is needed to replace the jobs lost in the downturn,” he said.

Goolsbee said initiatives implemented by the administration and Congress, such as the payroll tax cut and tax incentives for business investment, “have contributed to solid employment growth overall this year.”

He pledged the administration would work to increase exports and reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens.

“We will continue to work with Congress to responsibly reduce the deficit and live within our means,” Goolsbee added.