Washington (CNN) - Unemployment will go down in the coming year, but that doesn't mean U.S. economic woes are over, leading economic figures said Sunday.
Appearing on the NBC program "Meet the Press," former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan and Christina Romer, chairman of the White House Council on Economic Advisers, both made qualified predictions for economic growth and decreasing unemployment.
"I feel (it's) very likely it will be coming down," Romer said of the unemployment rate, but warned some "bumps" are likely in the coming year.
Greenspan noted upcoming boosts to employment, such as more than 700,000 people working in 2010 to conduct the federal census.
Unemployment "is going to be lower," Greenspan said, mostly due to people returning to the labor force.
Greenspan distinguished between a technical end to the recession - which would be consecutive quarters of economic growth, likely happening now - and a comprehensive reversal of the downturn marked by renewed job growth.
To Romer, declaring the recession truly over means a drop in the unemployment rate from the current 10 percent level to the normal level before the downturn of about 5 percent.
"The recession took a long time coming; it's going to take a long time" coming out of it, Romer said.
Another of President Barack Obama's advisers, National Economic Council director Lawrence Summers, told CNN's "State of the Union" that "it will take time" for the economic recovery to bring down the unemployment rate.
Economic recoveries typically begin with growth in gross domestic product, which has started, Summers said.
"Most professional forecasters expect job growth by spring and I think that's a reasonable judgment in an uncertain world," said the former Treasury secretary. Helping spur job creation will be the Obama administration's $787 billion stimulus package, according to Summers.
"The number of projects under the program… is going to be about twice as great over the next six months as it was over the last six months," Summers said.
However, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, an unsuccessful candidate for the Republican presidential nomination last year, said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that the stimulus program has failed to create jobs as promised and should be overhauled.
The nation's real economic threat is runaway spending that is creating "excessive and massive deficits" and "threatens our long-term viability," Romney said. He urged immediate steps to "rein in" government spending.
On "FOX News Sunday," Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Republican Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire agreed on the need to set up a bipartisan congressional task force to advise the government on how to lower the federal deficit. McCaskill also plugged Obama's push to help small businesses get credit, starting with a meeting the president will have Monday with bank executives.
At the same time, the Obama administration wants to increase regulations on Wall Street firms and financial institutions to help protect consumers from excessive risk-taking that helped spawn the economic crisis last year. The House passed a bill Friday calling for tougher regulation of financial markets, but the measure is expected to face opposition in the Senate.
Summers told CNN that Wall Street should not be resisting Democratic efforts to impose new regulations.
"It was irresponsible risk-taking that brought the economy to the brink of collapse," he said.
"For firms that have benefited from taxpayer support to be complaining about the government burdening them is, frankly, a bit rich," Summers said.
After receiving so much public help, "now the financial community's got to think about its obligations to the country," he said.
Updated: 2:03 p.m.