News / USA

US Jobless Rate Steady; Obama Sees Progress

Multimedia

TEXT SIZE - +
Kent Klein

President Barack Obama says the U.S. unemployment report for July shows some encouraging signs, even though the jobless rate remained at 9.5 percent.  But the president admits more improvement is needed.

The Labor Department says the U.S. economy made progress in some areas last month, but not in others.

The nation lost jobs overall, mainly due to the expected cuts of 144,000 jobs at the government's Census Bureau.  But private employers added 71,000 jobs in July.

President Obama spoke Friday to workers at a sign company in Washington which recently expanded its workforce.  He said he is encouraged that July was the seventh consecutive month that America's private employers added jobs. "We have now added private sector jobs every month this year, instead of losing them, as we did for the first seven months of last year.  And that is a good sign," he said.

The president also mentioned another report which said the trend of U.S. manufacturing jobs being shipped overseas was beginning to slow. "Just this morning, there was a report about the growing trend of manufacturing plants returning to the United States from overseas, instead of the other way around," he said.

Despite his upbeat assessment, Mr. Obama conceded that a 9.5 percent unemployment rate is unacceptable, and said he will do what he can to reduce that rate. "For America's workers, families and small businesses, progress needs to come faster.  Our job is to make sure that happens," he said.

Opposition Republicans in Congress, including Representative Kevin Brady of Texas, say the stagnant jobless rate is an indictment of the Obama administration's economic policies. "At this slow pace, it will take much of the decade to return to normal employment levels.  Despite the promises, the economic plan of President Obama and congressional Democrats has failed to restore consumer confidence, a key element to economic recovery," he said.

The top Republican in the House of Representatives, Minority Leader John Boehner, issued a statement referring to persistent high unemployment as "the reality of President Obama's broken promises, out-of-control spending sprees, and failing 'stimulus' policies."

The president's top economic adviser, Christina Romer, said there will likely be more bumps in the road, or challenges, as the economy recovers.

Romer announced Thursday she will step down as head of the president's Council of Economic Advisers and return to the University of California at Berkeley to teach economics.

Mr. Obama's budget director, Peter Orszag, recently resigned as well.

You May Like

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Open Source Seeds Hit the Market, Raise Awareness

First open source seeds include 29 new varieties of broccoli, celery, kale, quinoa and other vegetables and grains 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid