White House: Biden's 'Summer of Recovery' Meant Construction, Not Jobs

Vice President Biden wasn't talking about jobs when called this the "summer of recovery." He was talking about construction projects.

That's the explanation top White House economic adviser Austan Goolsbee gave when asked about the more than 280,000 jobs lost over the past three months.

"The vice president was talking about the summer of recovery in reference to the Recovery Act, that you would see the creation of a series of infrastructure and other projects ramping up over the summer," Goolsbee said on "Fox News Sunday." "And you did see that."

The declaration by the Obama administration in June that 2010 would mark the "summer of recovery" has drawn ridicule from Republicans as the election nears with unemployment hovering well above 9 percent for 16 consecutive months.

Biden did refer at the time to thousands of construction projects in the pipeline but also to the jobs they would create.

Goolsbee, though, said it would be "unfair" to suggest the "summer of recovery" was undermined by the jobs numbers.

He noted that private sector job growth has been on the rise for most of the year. Part of the reason the overall number of jobs has declined over the past couple months is because temporary census worker positions were phased out.

"There are big negatives from the people temporarily working on the Census, which led to huge positive in the hundreds of thousands (of) job additions earlier in the year followed by negatives as the census workers stopped taking the Census," Goolsbee said.

He said the private sector numbers are still "not enough."

"We want more projects. We need the private sector to stand up," he said.

Goolsbee took over as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers last week after Christina Romer left the administration to return to academia.