NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Robert Reich, former Labor Secretary, implored the Federal Reserve not to reduce its economic stimulus program that has fueled the stock market's rise and bolstered the economic recovery since the 2008 financial crisis.

Reich, in an interview with TheStreet in New York said he opposes so-called tapering of asset purchases, arguing that unemployment remains too high and the economy remains too fragile.

"I wouldn't start tapering now; I think unemployment is still too high, I think the economy is too fragile, economic growth is still too slow -- I would wait," Reich said. "I think eventually, obviously, you have to taper, you can't continue to buy $85 billion worth of long term bonds forever.

"I'd wait until you had enough data. Two quarters of economic growth over 3%, unemployment down under 7% for at least two quarters -- hopefully about 6.5% or 6.2% -- and then, two quarters worth, I would publish -- I would sort of say, 'Here's our tapering plan: if the economy continues to do well over the next six months, this is what we are going to do in terms of tapering,'" Reich said.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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