US economic recovery has registered "notable" achievements this year, but the nation is still confronted with challenges including high unemployment rate and sluggish wage growth, Jason Furman, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), said Thursday. The American economy is "finishing 2013 in a stronger place than it began the year. While there's more work to be done to strengthen the economy, create jobs and lower the unemployment rate, this progress is significant and notable," Furman said at a daily White House briefing. "This is especially notable given the general fiscal environment, including the onset of the sequester in March, and the government shutdown and debt limit brinksmanship in October. The recent budget bill passed by Congress on a bipartisan basis will contribute to certainty, a better fiscal stance over the next year, and more funding for the critical ingredients of longer run growth," Furman also said in a blog article released earlier Thursday. "We have been adding over 2 million jobs a year for the past several years. We've added 8.1 million private sector jobs in 45 straight months of private sector job growth," he told reporters. U.S. housing starts and permits have now broken the 1 million unit barrier, and there is still more potential for housing sector growth, said Furman. U.S. privately-owned housing starts were at a seasonally adjusted annual level of 1.09 million in November, 29.6 percent above the year-ago level, U.S. Department of Commerce reported Wednesday. However, U.S. unemployment rate is still "unacceptably high" and U.S. workers' wage growth has been anemic, said Furman, adding that "wages haven't come close to keeping with productivity over the last several decades." "More needs to be done, most immediately extending unemployment insurance benefits, and beyond that increasing investments to strengthen growth and making sure that growth is shared," said Furman in the article.