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Obama adviser Summers says US in 'human recession'

Obama adviser Summers says US in 'human recession'

President Barack Obama's top economic adviser said Saturday the U.S. is experiencing an economic recovery on paper but a "human recession" because of job losses.
Lawrence Summers, director of the White House National Economic Council, told a panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos that the latest figures showing strong U.S. economic growth suggest Obama's policies to prevent economic collapse "have been successful."
Most people who looked at the 5.7-percent increase in fourth-quarter growth believe that will continue "at least at a moderate rate for the next several quarters," he said.
"What is disturbing is the level of unemployment," he said, with one in five men between the ages of 25 and 54 not working.
That means only 80 percent of men in that prime working age group have jobs, compared with 95 percent in the mid-1960s, he said.
"What we're seeing in the United States, and perhaps in some other places, is a statistical recovery and a human recession," Summers said.
Summers said that following "a reasonable recovery" it's likely that there will still be one in seven, or one in eight men aged 25-54 who are not working.
"That suggests quite profound issues that will ultimately impact politics. They impact the decisions that businesses make and underscore what president Obama said in his State of the Union address a few day ago _ the primacy of jobs," he said.
Obama called for tax incentives to create jobs, saying a greater effort is needed to put people back to work even though his administration has "stopped the flood of job losses."
Summers also suggested "the primacy on maintaining the flow of credit to medium-size businesses" to stimulate job new jobs.
"I am very optimistic about our support for an integrated global economy," he told the forum, an annual meeting of international business, political and civic leaders.
"For a whole set of reasons _ the diversity of its population, the openness of its institutions, the way in which it serves as a magnet for people from all over _ I think the United States is very, very well positioned to gain from increased global integration," Summers said.
"But it's going to have to work for people if it's going to be politically sustainable _ and that's why the jobs, the credit agenda are so very crucial," he said.
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Updated : 2021-06-25 00:28 GMT+08:00