Biden on Unemployment: "Less Bad" Isn't Good

(AP)
Vice President Joe Biden on Friday reacted to news that the unemployment rate has risen from 9.7 to 9.8 percent by stating that "today's bad news does not change my confidence in the fact that we are going to recover."

He said the news, bad though it was, reflected the fact that the stimulus package was having a positive effect.

"The first quarter of this year, we were losing jobs at an average of 700,000 jobs per month, month after month," he said. "In the quarter that ended this week, the loss was 250,000 jobs per month, two-thirds less."

Still, he said, "those facts and those realities aren't good enough for President Obama, and they aren't good enough for me."

"We don't think that 'less bad' is good," Biden said. "'Less bad' is not our measure of success. One job lost is one job too many, and it's still too much pain."

"The kind of recovery the President and I are working to create will not have been achieved…until we're standing here and announcing substantial positive numbers, a positive growth rate in jobs," he added. "That's why the Recovery Act, which by some estimates has already saved and created a million jobs, is such a vital part of that economic plan, combined with our financial rescue plan, housing plan, a small business plan and all the other efforts."

"I believe we're doing the right things to move things in the right direction," he said.

House Republican Leader John Boehner, meanwhile, sent out a statement arguing that the "troubling" unemployment news "underscores the need for Democrats in Washington to scrap their job-killing agenda."

"With our economy still losing jobs, we are headed for what appears to be, at best, a jobless recovery," he said. "That is not what the American people were promised."

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