UPDATE 1-Obama aide: U.S. economy still needs further boost

* Romer: U.S. recovery not a reason to withdraw support

* Says economy on right path, job market still in crisis

* Uses speech to discuss parallels to Great Depression

(Adds details throughout; byline)

By Caren Bohan

WASHINGTON, May 16 (BestGrowthStock) – The U.S. economy has begun
to climb out of the worst downturn since the 1930 Great
Depression but still needs additional steps by the federal
government to stem a crisis in the job market, a senior
economic adviser to President Barack Obama said on Sunday.

“What we need now is not the withdrawal of support, but
further targeted actions that will help the private sector come
back more strongly,” Christina Romer, chairwoman of the White
House Council of Economic Advisers, said in prepared remarks
for a commencement ceremony at the College of William and Mary
in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Text of Romer’s remarks was made available in Washington.

“I worry that policymakers may take the return of growth as
license to withdraw the support that has been essential to the
recovery,” she said.

Romer urged Congress to a pass a series of measures Obama
has proposed to jump-start growth, including the establishment
of a lending fund to spur credit to small businesses and
providing cash-strapped cities and states with aid to help them
avoid layoffs of teachers and other local employees.

With the U.S. unemployment rate just under 10 percent, the
Obama administration is juggling the need to spur economic
growth with pressure to rein in ballooning U.S. budget
deficits.

Obama has named a bipartisan fiscal commission that will
report back by Dec. 1 with recommendations for curbing the
deficit, which is projected to hit $1.6 trillion this year.

The latest government report on the job market showed
employers added 290,000 jobs in April, a stronger-than-expected
pace that suggested the economic recovery was gaining steam.
But the jobless rate ticked up two tenths of a percentage point
to 9.9 percent as discouraged workers began looking for work
again.

“The economy is unquestionably on the right trajectory,”
Romer said in her speech. “But, while the economy is
recovering, it has not yet recovered.”

“For the millions of Americans still waiting to be rehired
— still struggling to provide for their families and make
their mortgage payments without a job — this remains an
economic crisis.”

Romer, an expert on the Great Depression, used much of her
speech to compare the current economic crisis to the long
downturn of the 1930s.

She said that Obama once called her his “Frances Perkins,”
a reference to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s secretary
of Labor and the first woman to serve in the Cabinet.

Romer said there have been parallels between Obama’s
economic response to that of Roosevelt but said that was less
the result of a deliberate effort but instead was because “we
were facing similar problems and shared similar core values.”

She credited Obama’s policies, such as enacting the $787
billion economic stimulus program in 2009, with helping to
prevent a second Great Depression.

Romer said that, like Roosevelt, Obama recognized the
economic crisis called for an “all-out policy response” but she
described the current president’s policies as more
“market-oriented” than those of Roosevelt.”

Republicans have sharply criticized the stimulus package,
calling it an example of overreach by the government and
contending that it failed to do enough to spur jobs growth.

Investing Basics

(Writing by Caren Bohan; Editing by Eric Walsh)

UPDATE 1-Obama aide: U.S. economy still needs further boost