POLITICS DIGEST

Politics Digest: Biden forecasts growth of up to 500,000 new jobs a month

WEEKEND GETAWAY A hike in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Asheville, N.C., on Friday took President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama away from the media but onto the path of a few fellow hikers, one of whom told the couple,
WEEKEND GETAWAY A hike in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Asheville, N.C., on Friday took President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama away from the media but onto the path of a few fellow hikers, one of whom told the couple, "You just made my day. You just made my year." (Alex Brandon/associated Press)
  Enlarge Photo    
Saturday, April 24, 2010

ECONOMY

Biden forecasts hefty job growth

Vice President Biden predicted Friday that the U.S. economy would be adding up to 500,000 jobs each month "some time in the next couple of months."

Biden said he "got in trouble" for his prediction last month of job growth. "Even some in the White House said, 'Hey, don't get ahead of yourself,' " he said at a Pennsylvania fundraiser, according to a pool report. "Well, I'm here to tell you, some time in the next couple of months, we're going to be creating between 250,000 jobs a month and 500,000 jobs a month.

"We caught a lot of bad breaks on the way down," Biden added. "We're going to catch a few good breaks because of good planning on the way up."

Most forecasters had expected about 200,000 jobs to be created in March. Instead, 162,000 jobs were created on non-farm payrolls -- the biggest one-month gain in three years but below what economists were predicting.

The difference was largely attributable to fewer people than expected being hired by the government as census workers. But analysts said the numbers also illustrated the slow and wobbly nature of the ongoing economic recovery. A prediction of 500,000 jobs a month would be considered optimistic.

Biden was in Pittsburgh for a brunch fundraiser on behalf of U.S. House candidate Mark Critz, who was an aide to Rep. John P. Murtha and is seeking to win the late lawmaker's seat in a May special election.

-- Garance Franke-Ruta and Frank Ahrens

FEDERAL BUDGET

Fiscal reform group to meet on Tuesday

President Obama's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform may not have a Web site or other obvious point of access for the public, but as its first meeting draws close, some information about the panel assigned to balance the federal budget is beginning to trickle out.


CONTINUED     1        >

© 2010 The Washington Post Company