August 1, 2008 / 3:33 PM / 11 years ago

White House unhappy with "mixed" jobless report

Bridget Dougherty (R) waits in line to enter a job fair in Los Angeles, California July 23, 2008. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine (Reuters) - The White House said on Friday it was not happy with data showing the U.S. unemployment rate has risen to 5.7 percent, but it described the report as mixed because wages increased by 3.4 percent over the past year.

“We are displeased with this report and while the economy is not as strong as we would like, we are encouraged that the overall economy seems to be doing slightly better as the GDP report showed yesterday,” White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said, referring to gross domestic product growth figures.

“I think you could fairly call this a mixed report as wages rose by 3.4 percent over the last 12 months,” she added.

The monthly employment report showing another 51,000 people had lost their jobs came a day after the Commerce Department said the U.S. economy grew at a 1.9 percent annual rate in the second quarter thanks to an emergency stimulus package passed earlier this year.

Perino said the full impact of the stimulus package had not yet been felt so “talking about a second stimulus package right now is premature.”

“I think the president is not inclined to move forward on a second stimulus package right now,” she said, adding that one could be considered later once the full effects of the first package had been felt.

“We are already seeing a positive impact on the economy, but the additional benefits from it, and the data that we’ll see from it, aren’t going to come for a little while,” she said.

Editing by James Dalgleish

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