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

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid