Vice President Joe Biden gave a stark assessment of the economy today, telling an audience of supporters, "there's no possibility to restore 8 million jobs lost in the Great Recession."
Appearing at a fundraiser with Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.) in Milwaukee, the vice president remarked that by the time he and President Obama took office in 2008, the gross domestic product had shrunk and hundreds of thousands of jobs had been lost.
"We inherited a godawful mess," he said, adding there was "no way to regenerate $3 trillion that was lost. Not misplaced, lost."
Claims for jobless benefits fell by the largest number in two months last week, but were still high enough to signal weak job growth. Meanwhile, the Senate on Thursday failed to pass an extension of unemployment benefits.
Biden said today the economy is improving and noted that in the past four quarters, there has been 4 percent growth in the economy. Over the last five months, more than 500,000 private sector jobs were created.
"We know that's not enough," the vice president said.
Last week the White House put out a Recovery and Reinvestment Act update claiming that between 2.2 million and 2.8 million jobs were either saved or created because of the stimulus as of March 2010. In signing the Recovery Act into law on Feb 17, 2009, Mr. Obama said the measure "will create or save 3-and-a-half million jobs over the next two years."