Unemployment Up, But President Stays Positive

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama welcomed news Friday of better-than-expected private sector job growth. But with the unemployment rate ticking upward nevertheless, he said he'd roll out new plans next week to spur the economy.
Obama spoke after the Labor Department reported that private employers added 67,000 new jobs last month, and both July and June's private-sector job figures were revised upward. Those numbers were better than first thought and pushed stock prices up.
But because significant numbers of people commenced or resumed a search for jobs in August, the overall unemployment rate rose slightly, to 9.6 percent.
Standing with his economic team in the Rose Garden, Obama said the jobs report was "positive news, and it reflects the steps we've already taken to break the back of this recession. But it's not nearly good enough."
"That's why we need to take further steps to create jobs and keep the economy growing including extending tax cuts for the middle class and investing in the areas of our economy where the potential for job growth is greatest," the president said.
Obama said he'd be proposing a broader set of ideas next week, when he travels to Milwaukee and Cleveland for economy-focused week capped by a rare White House press conference. Administration officials say a big new stimulus bill is not in the offing -- Congress would not be expected to support an expensive new package with crucial midterms on the horizon.
Obama is continuing to prod the Senate to pass a small business bill to reduce some taxes and increase lending for small businesses. Also possibilities are spending on infrastructure, additional tax breaks for small businesses and extending a research and development tax credit.


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