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.

Larry Summers: More jobs are coming

larry_summers_cnn2.top.jpgSee the full interview with Larry Summers on CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS, airing Sunday, January 16 at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET. By Annalyn Censky, staff reporter

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- While the economy is still reeling from 8.5 million jobs lost in the recession, the outlook for job growth in America is looking up, former White House economic advisor Larry Summers said in an exclusive interview airing on CNN Sunday.

"I think the prospects for starting to see significant employment growth and reductions in unemployment right now are better than they've been in the United States in a number of years," he told CNN's Fareed Zakaria.

Until two weeks ago, Summers was President Obama's chief economic advisor. A high-profile figure in business circles, he also served stints as the president of Harvard University and the Secretary of the Treasury under President Bill Clinton.

In the interview with Zakaria, he discusses the job market, friction between President Obama and big business, and his outlook for the recovery.

Summers is somewhat optimistic about the economy, expecting it to grow at a rate of 3% to 4% over the next few years.

But most economists say that's still not enough to make for significant job gains.

Summers pointed to the construction industry specifically, to highlight how the housing crash will continue to reverberate through the job market for years to come.

"Now, because we have an overhang of houses that are vacant, malls that are vacant, of office buildings that are vacant, we have this tremendous drop in the demand for construction workers," he said. "...For a certain class of men who haven't gone to college, that's a substantial part of employment."

Health care and the IT industry, however, are likely to see job growth ahead, he said.

"Some of the jobs that were lost aren't going to come back, but some of the jobs are going to come in new places," he said.

Summers hailed the tax compromise signed by Obama last month as a key step toward raising domestic demand. The $800 billion deal includes a payroll tax holiday that will help many Americans, and hopefully spur employment, he said.

At the same time, Summers also pushed Obama's goal of doubling exports over the next five years, and argued for cutting the national deficit. He also suggested infrastructure projects as a way to boost construction jobs.

As for corporate America's friction with Obama -- Summers pointed to corporate profits rising 60% over the last two years as a sign of progress in the private sector.

Obama's economic team has seen a wave of departures in recent months, with Summers leaving to return to Harvard. Gene Sperling, formerly a counselor to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, was named Summers' successor.

See the full interview with Larry Summers on CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS, airing Sunday, January 16 at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET. To top of page

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,790.19 13.76 0.08%
Nasdaq 4,748.36 -32.90 -0.69%
S&P 500 1,979.92 -7.13 -0.36%
Treasuries 2.04 -0.02 -1.02%
Data as of 9:10pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
General Electric Co 27.29 0.47 1.75%
Bank of America Corp... 15.69 0.00 0.00%
Alcoa Inc 10.98 0.57 5.48%
Freeport-McMoRan Inc... 11.83 0.65 5.81%
Micron Technology In... 18.22 0.65 3.70%
Data as of 4:01pm ET


Yum Brands, the fast food holding company behind KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, dove 16% during extended trading. More

Pepsi reported a $1.4 billion loss in its business in Venezuela during the company's third quarter. Its profits were down 73% from the same time a year ago. More

For years, Microsoft has said that its Surface tablets would replace traditional laptops, but Tuesday it announced its first ever laptop: the Surface Book. More

Smarties, a Halloween candy staple, have been around for 66 years. Three Millennial women are revolutionizing it. More

The city council of the District of Columbia is weighing a new proposal that would mandate up to 16 weeks of paid family leave for family bonding or a serious personal or family medical issue. More