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Hopeful words (and numbers) from the Prez

President Obama was in Charlotte this afternoon bearing good news. This is from the Charlotte O’s coverage:

Riding the tailwinds of positive economic news, President Barack Obama swept into Charlotte on Friday to tout his jobs program and efforts to kindle growth.

‘We are beginning to turn the corner,’ Obama told an audience at the Charlotte Celgard plant, where advanced battery components are made. “The worst of the storm is over; brighter days are still ahead.”

Obama’s Good Friday visit came as the Labor Department said that employers added 162,000 non-farm payroll jobs in March, the best growth since the recession began in December 2007 and the strongest sign yet that the U.S. economy is on the mend.”

Experts, however, urged caution and vigilance in the battle to promote recovery. Here’s Chad Stone, Chief Economist at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in a statement released today:

“Before breaking out the champagne, however, we should understand that special factors, including temporary hiring for the 2010 census, were important contributors to the March gains. Moreover, we need much stronger job growth than we have yet seen over a sustained period to reduce the unemployment rate and erase the huge jobs deficit that remains the legacy of the longest and deepest recession since the Great Depression.

That is why it is so disappointing that Congress has allowed the Recovery Act measures providing extra weeks of unemployment insurance (UI) and subsidized COBRA health insurance coverage for unemployed workers to lapse and has failed to pass a meaningful jobs bill that would provide a needed boost to the nascent economic recovery. Extending the Recovery Act’s UI and COBRA provisions to the end of the year and providing additional fiscal assistance to cash-strapped states — two critical provisions in the pending congressional jobs bills — are widely recognized as highly effective ways to boost economic activity and create jobs. Congress should act quickly to pass legislation that includes those measures. They will help workers struggling to find a job and in danger of losing their UI benefits, and they will help the economy.”

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