'Imperative' that unemployment benefits continue - WH economist

U.S. employment growth rebounded moderately in January but job losses in December were deeper than initially thought.

"Unemployment benefits are one of the first lines of defense in any recession," Boushey, a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said. "So this is absolutely imperative, and it really is imperative that benefits remain on for as long as workers need them."

Boushey also stressed Biden's commitment to raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour from $7.25, an increase she said would be phased in to avoid a shock to the economy.

Boushey, who has previously studied how family-friendly policies can support growth, also stressed the need to reopen schools and childcare centers safely.

"Getting schools open is one of the most important pieces," she said. "But then we need to make sure that childcare centers can open and open safely and that that's safe both for the workers who are mostly women workers, as well as for the families that need that care."