As President Obama played golf Friday and headed for a long weekend at
Camp David, the White House said the government's new jobs report proves that
the 2009 stimulus program is still helping the economy.
Alan Krueger, chairman of the president's Council of Economic Advisers, said the addition of 195,000 non-farm jobs in June is "further confirmation that the U.S. economy is continuing to recover from the worst downturn since the Great Depression."
"In the four years since the recession ended in June 2009, the economy has added 5.3 million jobs, thanks to the resilience of the American people and policies like the Recovery Act, which helped bring the recession to an end and put us on the path to recovery," Mr. Krueger said.
The Labor Department said the jobless rate for June held steady at 7.6 percent. The largest share of job gains -- 75,000 -- came in the hospitality industry of bartenders and waiters.
In a possible sign of the impact of the Mr. Obama's signature health-care law, part-time jobs soared by 360,000 last month to a record high of 28,059,000, while full-time jobs were down by 240,000.
The law will require larger employers to provide health insurance to all employees who work more than 30 hours per week, although the administration announced last week it is delaying that part of the law for one year, until 2015.
But Republicans had a different take on the latest unemployment numbers with House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, calling the results "tepid" and arguing that Mr. Obama's policies aren't helping.
"Just look at the last few weeks: the president admits that his health care law is a drag on businesses; he threatens to veto a bill based on his own plan to make paying for college easier, then watches quietly as Senate Democrats let interest rates double; and he makes up new reasons to delay the Keystone pipeline in a speech about imposing a national energy tax," Mr. Boehner said.
"Imagine how many jobs would be created if the president stopped trying to expand government and started working with Republicans on policies that create sustained economic growth and expand opportunity for all Americans," he said.
The White House said the jobs report also shows the need for Congress to embrace Mr. Obama's call for more spending on job training and education, and to approve an increase in the federal minimum wage.
"It is critical that we remain focused on pursuing policies to speed job creation and expand the middle class, as we continue to dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession that began in December 2007," Mr. Krueger said.
"The president will continue to press Congress to act on the proposals he called for in his State of the Union address to make America a magnet for good jobs, help workers obtain the skills they need for those jobs, and make sure that honest work leads to a decent living," he said.
The president got in a round of golf Friday morning with aides at Andrews Air Force Base in suburban Maryland, and will spend the rest of the long weekend with his family at Camp David, the presidential retreat in the Catoctin Mountains. He returned to the U.S. last Tuesday from a weeklong trip to Africa.
(c)2013 The Washington Times (Washington, DC)
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