Obama, Republicans Battle Over Jobs

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Photo: AP President Barack Obama speaks about efforts to prepare veterans for the workforce, August 5, 2011, at the Washington Navy Yard

Part of the focus on the U.S. economy remains on the lackluster job market as millions of Americans struggle to find work.

In his weekly address Saturday, U.S. President Barack Obama said the nation’s “urgent mission” has to be getting the economy growing faster and creating jobs. He called on Democrats and Republicans in Congress to work together to take steps to spur growth when they return from their recess in September.


Obama also promoted moves such as extending tax cuts for working and middle class families and passing long-stalled trade deals with Colombia, Panama and South Korea.

In the weekly Republican address, Representative Michael Grimm of New York said Friday’s jobs report shows Obama’s policies are not working. Grimm said the debt limit deal takes a step in the right direction, but is far from perfect. He said the cuts and reforms do not go nearly far enough.

The U.S. is the world’s largest economy, but investors have demonstrated little confidence in the country’s sluggish recovery, even with the agreement on the debt ceiling plan.

Friday’s jobs report from the U.S. Labor Department found the economy added 117,000 jobs in July. The unemployment rate was slightly lowered to 9.1 percent.

But the data also show the unemployment rate declined because some unemployed people gave up their job hunt in the belief there is no work available for them.  Washington does not count people as unemployed unless they are actively seeking jobs.