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America's job creation engine was stalled

New government figures show government stimulus helped drive the economy up 3.5 percent from July through September, the first increase in a year and a sign that the recession is at an end. But there are other signs that this may be a jobless recovery.

The Obama administration is saying its economic stimulus and recovery packages have saved close to a million jobs. But the creation of new jobs independent of stimulus funds has lagged.

"The great American job creation machine simply hasn't been generating enough jobs to absorb or offset what was really the greatest, deepest recession since the Great Depression," said Jared Bernstein, chief economic adviser to Vice President Joe Biden.

On CBS' "The Early Show" this morning, Bernstein said that figures to be released by the White House today will show that data from thousands of recipients of Recovery Act funds detail the jobs that were either preserved or generated from those funds.

"Those jobs accumulate to 650,000 jobs saved or created thus far," Bernstein told "Early Show" anchor Harry Smith, "and remember, that's a subset," representing about half of the Recovery Act dollars put to work thus far.

"So, a million jobs saved or created thus far when you extrapolate from the reports is just about right," Bernstein said.

When asked a timetable for an increase in job creation without the aid of government stimulus funds, offering relief to the chronically unemployed or underemployed, Bernstein said, "As far as the overall economy is concerned, private sector forecasters tell us that by the second half of next year, net job growth should be positive, [and] unemployment should be coming down."

Bernstein added that there is still more employment news to come from the Recovery Act, predicting that the total number of jobs credited to it would number 3.5 million a year from now.


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  • David Morgan

    David Morgan is a senior editor at CBSNews.com and cbssundaymorning.com.