News / Economy

Obama Welcomes Drop in US Jobless Rate

U.S. President Barack Obama says a small decline in the nation's unemployment rate is welcome news, but he wants the economic recovery to build more momentum. The jobless rate dipped one-tenth of a percent in February, to 8.9 percent.

Mr. Obama told high school students in Miami, Florida Friday there is reason to be optimistic about the direction of the nation’s economy. "This morning we learned that the unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in nearly two years. Our economy added another 222,000 jobs in the private sector. That is the 12th straight month of private sector job growth," he said.

But the president reminded the audience that the economic recovery is just beginning. "So our economy has now added 1.5 million private sector jobs over the last year. And that is progress. But we need to keep building on that momentum," he said.

The loss of 30,000 state and local government jobs in February meant a net gain of 192,000 jobs. But the addition of 222,000 private sector jobs was the biggest gain since last April.

The decline in the jobless rate from 9.8 percent in November to 8.9 percent in February is the biggest three-month drop since 1983.

House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, in a written statement, also applauded the lower jobless numbers. But he blamed the Obama administration’s 2009 economic stimulus legislation for feeding what he called a "government spending binge" that Boehner says is blocking the recovery.

One of the president’s top economic advisers, Austan Goolsbee, called the overall trend of the last few months’ economic numbers encouraging. But he cautioned against reading too much into any one monthly report, and said there is considerable work to do to replace the nearly 8 million jobs lost in the recession.

Many economists agree that the growing number of new jobs is a sign that confidence in the economic recovery is building. But some warn that the unemployment rate could go back up as more people who had given up looking for work start trying again.

President Obama visited Miami Central High School to promote his initiatives to improve American education, which he says are crucial to strengthening the U.S. economy. He was joined by former Florida state governor Jeb Bush, who is a Republican and the brother of Mr. Obama's predecessor, former President George W. Bush.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

Ali Regained Title in Historic Fight 40 Years Ago

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7893
JPY
USD
107.68
GBP
USD
0.6238
CAD
USD
1.1214
INR
USD
61.185

Rates may not be current.