National Economic Council Director Brian Deese reacts to crushing report U.S. experienced second largest contraction in a calendar year on record Updated for 2021

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Updated: March 2, 2021

Today’s data suggests a significant slowing of our economic recovery. In the fourth quarter, we experienced the second largest contraction in a calendar year on record.

This is second only to the contraction in 2008. As a result of economic conditions, more than a million Americans applied for unemployment benefits this week alone – worse than any week during the Great Recession.

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The message is clear. While legislation to date has provided an important bridge, we must do more for the economy and for American workers and families. Congress should swiftly pass the President’s American Rescue Plan.

The Plan would allow us to get this pandemic under control, provide critical relief to American workers and families, and make smart investments to get our economy back on track.

Without swift action, we risk a continued economic crisis that will make it harder for Americans to return to work and get on back their feet. The cost of inaction is too high.

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