Video: Geithner: Economy will see 'sustained job creation'

  1. Transcript of: Geithner: Economy will see 'sustained job creation'

    MR. GREGORY: Let's talk about the broader economy and really some encouraging news. This was The Wall Street Journal headline this week, "Dow Breaks Through 11,000. Stocks Rise on Outlook for the Economy , Corporate Earnings ; Individuals Still on guidelines." You're out there talking to people; you see so much. What gives you a reason to be optimistic right now?

    SEC'Y GEITHNER: Well, again, you're seeing in the numbers, and if you talk to businesses across the country in all industries, you see much more confidence today. The economy 's growing. It's the private sector that's growing, private investment is increasing, exports are stronger. Americans are spending a bit more of their income. These are very encouraging signs, and I think they should -- they allow us to be much more confident today that we're going to come out of this stronger. But, you know, we have to deal in reality too. And the reality still is that this crisis caused a huge amount of damage. It's going to take a long time to heal that damage. Americans are still facing enormous pressure, enormous financial challenge. And we're going to keep working to make sure we're healing what was broken, reinforce this recovery ; and we got some work to do still .

    MR. GREGORY: So -- and that headline refers to individuals still on the sidelines. You have 8.5 million jobs lost in the course of the recession. In March , and something that the, the Fed chairman was concerned about, 44 percent of those unemployed in March have been unemployed for six months or more. Is this a jobless recovery ?

    SEC'Y GEITHNER: I think the economy 's just starting to create jobs again. That's going to continue. Just remember, a year ago the economy lost three quarters of a million jobs in one month of March . And last month the economy created 160,000 new jobs, and I think we're now on a path where you're going to see sustained job creation . You're going to see the work week extended, people add hours to their payroll, incomes start to rise again, more people come back to work. And, again, we have more work to do , though, to help reinforce that process.

    MR. GREGORY: You don't see the unemployment rate climbing again to, say, over 10?

    SEC'Y GEITHNER: No, I'm not an economist, David , but if you see that happen it'll be because you have more people come back into the work force now because there's hope again. But, again, I think that we're in a much stronger position than -- now today than we were three months ago, six months ago, stronger than we thought, faster recovery than many people expected because of the actions the president took.

    MR. GREGORY: And yet you said recently, you told Matt Lauer on the "Today" show recently that the unemployment rate will be unacceptably high for a long period of time . These are the administration 's projections -- we'll put them up on the screen -- for unemployment, all the way out to the fourth quarter of 2012 at 7.9 percent, which is still pretty high. I assume you'd think that would be unacceptably high. So what would incentivize companies to build a new factory now or to look ahead and start adding workers to change and improve upon that outlook?

    SEC'Y GEITHNER: We're going to work to improve on those numbers. That's what we're working hard to do. And we're trying to get Congress to move to put in place a series of new tax incentives for hiring, for business investment. We're trying to work to make sure you can -- states can keep teachers in the classroom, that we're working to fix schools, fix our roads and bridges, improve infrastructure. There are a range of things we can do like that that'll help make this recovery stronger. And, as we grow again, we see more job creation , not less.

updated 4/18/2010 2:55:30 PM ET 2010-04-18T18:55:30

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says the economy is growing faster than the Obama administration expected.

He tells NBC's "Meet the Press" that the country is on the way to sustained job creation. But he acknowledges that unemployment may remain high, close to 10 percent.

Geithner says there's more confidence in the business world, and he says the private sector is growing. He also says people are spending more.

He said he sees encouraging signs that should make Americans confident the country will emerge stronger.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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