News / USA

Obama: US Economy Improving, But Not Fast Enough

President Barack Obama talks about taxes at the Executive Office Building on the White House campus, Friday, August 3, 2012.
President Barack Obama talks about taxes at the Executive Office Building on the White House campus, Friday, August 3, 2012.
Kent Klein
WHITE HOUSE — President Barack Obama and his likely Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, are taking opposing views of the latest figures on U.S. unemployment.  The numbers provide ammunition for both sides.
 
The Labor Department says America's private employers created 163,000 jobs in July, more than expected and the most since February.

The unemployment rate, however, edged upward to 8.3 percent, from 8.2 percent in June.  The jobless rate has remained above 8 percent since President Obama's first month in office, in 2009.

At the White House, the president said 4.5 million jobs have been created in the past 29 months, and 1.1 million jobs so far this year, but he admitted that more improvement is needed.

"Those are our neighbors and family members finding work and the security that comes with work," said Obama.  "But let's acknowledge: We have still got too many folks out there who are looking for work."

While Obama says the numbers are a sign of a continuing recovery, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney calls them "another hammer blow" to the middle class.

Campaigning in Las Vegas, Nevada, Romney said the president's policies are responsible for the struggling economy.

"Policies that have led America to have 42 straight months with unemployment above 8 percent, 23 million people out of work or stopped looking for work and underemployed," said Romney.  "Those policies, we know where they lead.  They lead to an America that is not as strong as it must be for ourselves, for our children and for the world."

The number of jobs created so far this year has been enough to keep pace with population growth, but not enough to bring the unemployment rate down.

The U.S. economy grew at a sluggish 1.5 percent from April through June, after faster growth earlier in the year.

The president said Congress could help speed the economic recovery by passing a tax cut extension for all but the richest Americans.  Republicans want the tax cuts continued for all taxpayers.

"Now I just think we have got our priorities skewed if the notion is that we give tax breaks to folks who do not need them, and to help pay for that, we tax folks who are already struggling to get by," Obama added.  "That is not how you grow an economy."

The state of the economy is the issue that is most likely to affect the outcome of November's election.

Romney blames the Democratic president for the slow pace of the recovery.  Obama says the previous administration's Republican policies made the recession worse and the recovery more difficult.

No president since World War II has run for re-election with unemployment higher than 8 percent.  Many public opinion polls show that more Americans like Obama, but more of them trust Romney to lead the economy.

The president has been appealing to middle class voters, saying that he represents their interests and stressing Romney's status as a wealthy businessman.  Romney says his business experience will help improve the nation's economy.

Most polls have the two candidates virtually even overall, about three months before Election Day.

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

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'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

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