“Man, I thought it’d only take a few hours,” he said, referring to the nearly quarter of a million salaried positions he created and filled during the month of September. “Boy was I wrong.”
Most difficult, he says, was conducting so many interviews, as he likes really spending time with applicants to get a feel for their experience and personalities. Also, he says, making sure Kristen in HR didn’t mix up all the personal data and social security numbers was a big headache. He still doesn’t know how he can fit the new staff into the White House, but he’s considering an open plan office.
“We’re going to need new copy machine codes for everyone, as well as badges,” he said, taking off his tie. “And I don’t even want to think about desks.”
Lowering the U.S. unemployment rate had been one of his greatest priorities last month, and skeptics doubted he could afford putting so many new employees on the payroll. But with a little number crunching, minor restructuring, and a small bank loan, he succeeded.
When asked if he believes the unemployment rate will continue to fall from its current 5.9 percent, Obama responded optimistically.
“These [248,000] people I hired are a really solid group, and most of them have a lot of experience and good references, so I don’t think we’re going to have to let anyone go anytime soon,” he said. “Also, I’m planning on taking on another 50,000 seasonal workers in December, so that should help, too.”