President Barack Obama said on Tuesday he expects the US unemployment rate, currently at 9.5 per cent, to rise further over the coming months.
"This has been a more severe recession than we've seen since the Great Depression," Obama said, added the US would "probably continue to see unemployment tick up for several months."
In June Obama said he expected the jobless rate to enter double digits this year. It already tops 14 per cent in Michigan, the historic heart of the country's auto-making sector.
The US president noted that "we have seen some stabilization on the financial markets, and that's good," but said that history showed recoveries can take more time.
"Historically, even after you start into a recovery, positive growth, hiring, typically lags for some time after that," he said.
Unemployment rose to 9.5 per cent in June, according to Labor Department figures, shedding 467,000 jobs in that month.
That figure was 45 per cent up on the previous month's loses, and pushed the level to a 26-year high.
The figures dashed hopes of a rapid exit from the recession currently afflicting the world's largest economy.