BY KENT KLEIN — President Barack Obama says the U.S. economy is moving in the right direction, but not fast enough. The president Friday welcomed August’s better-than-expected unemployment numbers, but will announce next week new plans to strengthen the economy.
The nation’s economy produced 67,000 new private sector jobs in August, but the unemployment rate rose because not enough jobs were created to absorb the growing number of Americans looking for work
President Obama called the news positive, but not nearly good enough.
“The economy is moving in a positive direction,” said President Obama. “Jobs are being created. They are just not being created as fast as they need to, given the big hole that we have experienced.”
Standing with his economic advisers in the White House Rose Garden, Mr. Obama said that in the coming week, he will propose new ideas for putting more Americans to work.
“We are going to have to continue to work with both Republicans and Democrats to come up with ideas that can further accelerate that job growth,” said Mr. Obama. “I am confident that we can do that.”
After a week focused on the military drawdown in Iraq and the Middle East peace talks, the president plans to concentrate on the economy in the next week.
He will travel to the Midwestern U.S. in the coming days to discuss economic issues, and will conclude next week with a rare White House press conference.
Among other initiatives, Mr. Obama is again calling on the Senate to pass a bill to give tax breaks to small businesses.
“One thing we have a responsibility to do right now is to lift up our small businesses, which accounted for over 60 percent of job losses in the final months of last year,” he said.
White House officials have said there will not be another large economic stimulus bill like the more than $800- billion package Congress passed last year.
Many candidates from Mr. Obama’s Democratic Party are trailing Republicans in public opinion polls, about two months before midterm elections. Pollsters say the country’s economic problems are largely to blame.