Which way is up? Housing sales and unemployment both on the rise - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Which way is up? Housing sales and unemployment both on the rise

Diana Olick Diana Olick
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner
President Barack Obama President Barack Obama
Press Secretary Robert Gibbs Press Secretary Robert Gibbs

by Steve Handelsman

WASHINGTON (NBC) - The housing comeback set an all-time record. Sales of previously owned homes rocketed up more than 10% in September, but that rise was powered by first time buyers using a tax credit that will run out next spring.

"It does end April 30th, and much like Cash-for-Clunkers, we could see a big drop-off after April 30th," explains CNBC's Diana Olick.  "Also remember that the government has been artificially keeping mortgage rates low by the Fed buying Fannie and Freddie securities that ends March 31st."

By next spring, joblessness might be even higher than the current 10.2%. 

"It will be about six to nine months before we see job gains" said economist Richard DeKaser.

That's adding more pressure for President Obama, whose economic point man, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, is getting hammered by Republicans.

"The public has lost all confidence in your ability to the job" said Rep. Kevin Brady (R) – Texas to Geithner in a congressional hearing.

The president met with Geithner and the rest of his cabinet on Monday.

"I will not rest until businesses are investing again and businesses are hiring again and people have work again" said President Obama.

Mr. Obama is resisting calls for a second stimulus package and fighting off charges that he's exaggerating job gains from the first.

"The president and Congress took the necessary action to institute a recovery act that has helped spur our economic growth" said White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.

Complicating the calculation is nearly a trillion dollars in health care reform, put on track to pass by the Senate Saturday; and Afghanistan, the US role likely to increase and cost hundreds of billions of dollars more.

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