WASHINGTON, Aug. 24 (Xinhua) -- The Obama administration's economic stimulus package has added as many as 3.3 million jobs in the second quarter of this year, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported on Tuesday.
The CBO is required by law to issue quarterly reports on the employment and economic impact of the Recovery Act, which President Barack Obama signed into law soon after taking office last year.
The stimulus package raised the level of real gross domestic product (GDP) by between 1.7 percent and 4.5 percent from April to June, according to the report.
U.S. economy grew at a 2.4 percent annual rate in the second quarter of this year, according to the preliminary estimate by the Commerce Department. Economists expect the department to revise that figure downward to around 1.4 percent when it releases an updated report on Friday.
The CBO also estimated that the stimulus package lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.7 percentage points and 1.8 percentage points in the second quarter, and increased overall employment by between 1.4 million and 3.3 million.
The jobless rate remained stubbornly high at 9.5 percent in July, and nonfarm payrolls have fallen for two straight months, according to the Labor Department. So far this year, private sector has added an average of 90,000 jobs per month, compared to nearly 8.5 millions jobs lost during the recession.
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden hailed the CBO's new findings, saying it made it "impossible for even the most cynical, bent-on- rooting-for-failure critics to deny" the benefits of the Act.
"So while Republicans in Congress -- the same party that got us into this mess in the first place -- may want to turn back the clock and drive us back into the same ditch we're making our way out of, it's now clearer than ever before that we can't afford to go backward," Biden said in a statement, a direct rebuttal to a top Republican's allegations that Democrats have eaten their words of delivering more jobs to Americans.
"President Obama should ask for -- and accept -- the resignations of the remaining members of his economic team, starting with (Treasury) Secretary Geithner and Larry Summers, the head of the National Economic Council," House Minority Leader John Boehner said Tuesday morning in remarks at the City Club of Cleveland.
However, the CBO said that the effects of the Recovery Act on output and employment are expected to gradually diminish during the second half of 2010 and beyond. It means the fragile economic recovery, which was highly dependent on government stimulus in its early stages, has to find some other engines to keep on track.