News / USA

Obama: Economy Headed in Right Direction

President Barack Obama says the latest employment figures show the U.S. economy is headed in the right direction, but more needs to be done to put Americans without jobs back to work.  

The U.S. economy lost 125,000 non-farm sector jobs during the month of June.  That figure reflects the end of some 225,000 temporary U.S. census worker jobs.

The Labor Department reported a decline in the overall unemployment rate which dropped to 9.5 percent from 9.7 percent, the lowest level since 2009.

While the private sector gained 83,000 jobs, the figure was below levels from the previous two months.

President Obama recognized the mixed nature of the latest figures.  He said they show the economy is headed in the right direction, with the sixth consecutive month of private sector job growth.

But he also recognized that for millions of Americans, the economy is not being fixed fast enough.

"We're not headed there fast enough for a lot of Americans," he said.  "We're not headed three fast enough for me either.  The recession dug us a hole of about eight-million jobs deep, and we continue to fight headwinds from volatile global markets," said the president.

Saying a lot of work remains to repair the economy and get people back to work, the president announced a new initiative to expand broadband Internet service to U.S. communities with no access.

The government estimates that 66 projects involved in this would create about 5,000 short-term construction and installation jobs, with additional longer term economic gains.

The head of the president's Council of Economic Advisers, Christina Romer, said the latest figures demonstrate the magnitude of the damage from the recession.

Addressing Americans still looking for work, President Obama pledged that he and his administration will do everything possible to create jobs and opportunity.

President Obama spoke at the beginning of the U.S. July 4th holiday weekend, a time he said should remind Americans that they have never backed down from a challenge and will make it through tough economic times.

The president will spend part of the July 4th weekend at the presidential retreat at Camp David in Maryland, but is expected to return to the White House on Sunday.

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