White House Official Outlines Jobs Strategy The unemployment rate of 8.1 percent is the worst since 1983. Christina Romer, the chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, discusses what the White House is doing to get unemployment down.

White House Official Outlines Jobs Strategy

White House Official Outlines Jobs Strategy

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Christina Romer, the chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, calls the unemployment data for February "terrible."

The Labor Department Monday announced that employers cut 651,000 jobs in February, pushing the unemployment rate to 8.1 percent, the worst since 1983.

"The important thing from our point of view is it was largely expected," Romer tells NPR's Robert Siegel. "The president was careful to say that conditions would get worse before they get better and unfortunately we're in the 'they will get worse' part of this."

Romer acknowledges that the economic situation is likely to be tough in the first half of the year, but points to the start of a turnaround in the second half.

"Realistically, I think what we'll be seeing is smaller job losses for a while before we see them turn the other direction," she says. "But I'm certainly hoping that by the end of the year, we're certainly in positive territory on GDP growth and employment will be soon to follow."