President Barack Obama says October's U.S. unemployment report is encouraging news. But, the jobless rate remained stuck at 9.6 percent, and the president says more work is needed.
President Obama says the creation of 151,000 new jobs in October continues a trend of 10 straight months of job growth in private business. While he says the private sector has added more than a million jobs since January, he admits that those numbers are not enough to budge the stubborn unemployment rate.
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"So we have now seen four months of private sector job growth above 100,000, which is the first time we have seen this kind of increase in over four years," said President Obama. "Now, that is not good enough. The unemployment rate is unacceptably high, and we have got a lot of work to do."
Polls show that the stagnant economy, and especially the persistent unemployment problem, were a major factor in the opposition Republicans' big victories in Tuesday's elections.
Since then, Mr. Obama has indicated a willingness to compromise with Republicans on economic legislation, although he has not been specific about how he would do it.
"I am open to any idea, any proposal, any way we can get the economy growing faster, so the people who need work can find it faster," said Mr. Obama.
Some Republican leaders have said the election results show that Americans want much of the president's agenda reversed. But Mr. Obama said Friday compromise is needed to advance the U.S. economy, while other countries are aggressively building their economies.
"We cannot spend the next two years mired in gridlock," said the president. "Other countries, like China, are not standing still. So we cannot stand still either. We have got to move forward."
The president spoke minutes before leaving for a week-long trip to India, Indonesia, South Korea and Japan. While in Asia, he plans to push China to revise its currency, and to campaign for greater access for American goods in Asian markets.
"I am going to be talking about opening up additional markets in places like India, so that American businesses can sell more products abroad, in order to create more jobs here at home," said President Obama.
Mr. Obama has set a goal of doubling U.S. exports within five years.