Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Geithner sees 'unacceptably high' jobless rate

By Ben Rooney, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said he expects the unemployment rate to remain "unacceptably high" for a long time, even as the economy recovers and job growth slowly resumes.

"I think the key thing that's going to happen is the economy's going to start creating jobs again," Geithner said in an interview aired Thursday on NBC's "Today." "But the unemployment rate is still terribly high, and it is going to stay unacceptably high for a long period of time."

The comments came ahead of the government's monthly jobs report, which is due Friday. That report is expected to show that U.S. employers added 190,000 jobs in March, but the unemployment rate remaining at a persistently high 9.7%.

"It is going to take a long time to bring it down because of the damage of the recession," Geithner said of the jobless rate.

The remarks were consistent with previous administration forecasts. In a Feb. 1 report on assumptions underlying the fiscal 2011 budget, Council of Economic Advisers chairwoman Christina Romer said the unemployment rate will end the year at around 9.8%, and will reach 8.9% by the fourth quarter of next year.

Geithner, who was interviewed at a meeting of business leaders in Pittsburgh, said the financial crisis and subsequent recession of the last few years had caused a "huge amount of damage" to businesses and households.

"We're going to be living with that damage for some time," he said.

However, he stressed that President Obama has taken steps to revive economic activity and foster job growth, including a $17.6 billion bill passed earlier this month.

"It is going to take time to bring back what we lost," Geithner said. "But again, that's why he's working so hard to make sure that Congress is providing additional support for job creation, more support for small business, more support for infrastructure, more support for cities and states across the country."

--CNN senior political correspondent Candy Crowley contributed to this report. To top of page

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 15,914.74 -99.64 -0.62%
Nasdaq 4,283.59 14.83 0.35%
S&P 500 1,851.86 -0.35 -0.02%
Treasuries 1.60 -0.10 -6.10%
Data as of 8:50am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 11.98 -0.22 -1.80%
Facebook Inc 101.00 1.46 1.47%
Pfizer Inc 29.49 0.39 1.34%
Apple Inc 94.27 -0.72 -0.76%
Microsoft Corp 49.71 0.43 0.87%
Data as of Feb 10
Sponsors

Sections

The Fed Chair was criticized on a range of issues, from China and monetary policy to black unemployment and the strong dollar. More

Twitter's stock is sinking fast after the company reported that it lost customers in the fourth quarter of 2015. More

STEM3 Academy was started specifically for students with autism, ADHD and Asperger's Syndrome. Its STEM-based curriculum is breaking through barriers. More

The average price for domestic airfare dropped in the third quarter of 2015, and travel experts expect the trend to continue in 2016. More