President Barack Obama announced plans on June 8 to accelerate stimulus spending to save or create 600,000 jobs over the next 100 days, four times the number created or saved in the first 100 days since the plan was signed into law on February 17.
The announcement came days after the government reported that the number of unemployed continues to rise. The Labor Department reported that U.S. unemployment rose to 9.4 percent in May, even though job losses last month slowed to 345,000. The rate is the highest in more than 25 years. Hundreds of thousands of Americans continue to lose jobs each month, although fewer jobs were lost last month than expected.
"We've got a long way to go, but I feel like we've made great progress," Obama said at a White House meeting with Vice President Joe Biden and cabinet officials aimed at highlighting gains made since Congress passed the massive stimulus package in February. Obama has claimed as many as 150,000 jobs saved or created by his stimulus plan so far, even as government reports have shown the economy has lost more than 1.6 million jobs.
The White House estimates the $787 billion Recovery and Reinvestment Act that Democrats pushed through Congress with little Republican support will create or save 3 million to 4 million jobs by early 2011.