She warned that the country's main economic measure, its gross domestic product, would likely grow before workers experience an increase in employment.
"The recovery will almost surely take a long time," she said.
She conceded that the current spending has increased deficits and the national debt, but rejected suggestions from Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., that the administration should reduce its stimulus spending next year if the economy begins to recover.
"We not only need growth in 2010, we actually need pretty rapid growth to bring the unemployment rate down," she said. "If you think about where we're likely to be in 2010, I don't think anyone's thinking of the economy being robustly healthy."