Entries in Unemployment Report (6)


Obama, Romney Hold High Noon Duel Over Jobs

JEWEL SAMAD/FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama and Mitt Romney held a high noon showdown on the economy today, with both men delivering live, televised statements on jobs, taxes and economic growth at the exact same time.

As Romney spoke outside a small business in Las Vegas, Obama surrounded himself with a group of middle-class Americans in Washington to praise the July jobs report and continue his push to put Romney on the defensive on taxes.

“This morning we learned that our businesses created 172,000 new jobs in the month of July. That means that we’ve now created 4.5 million over the last 29 months and 1.1 million new jobs so far this year,” Obama said. “Those are our neighbors and family members finding work and the security that comes with work.”

“We knew when I started this job that this was going to take some time,” he added. “But we also knew that if we were persistent and kept at it, kept working, that we’d gradually get to where we need to be.”

Romney assailed the latest report and a national unemployment rate that ticked up last month as a “hammer blow to the struggling middle-class families of America.”

“These numbers are not just statistics. These are real people, really suffering, having hard times, 23 million Americans out of work or stopped looking for work or way under-employed,” Romney said. “The official unemployment number, 8.3 percent. That’s the longest period of time — 42 months — the longest period of time we’ve had unemployment above 8 percent in American history, since this has been recorded.”

“This is an extraordinary record of failure,” he said of Obama.

Both men also sparred over taxes, framing the ongoing debate over whether to extend Bush-era tax cuts and for whom as a central issue for accelerating economic growth.

The president, who did not mention Romney by name, took direct aim at his rival’s tax plan, calling it “upside-down economics.”

“They want to give millionaires and billionaires and folks like me tax cuts that we don’t need and that the country can’t afford even if middle-class families have to pick up the tab for it,” Obama said.

“I just think we’ve got our priorities skewed if the notion is that we give tax breaks to the folks that don’t need them and to help pay for that tax folks who are already struggling to get by. That’s not how you grow an economy,” he added.

Romney vigorously defended his plan to slash rates on corporations and upper-income earners, saying hiking rates as Obama proposes would kill jobs.

“I will not raise taxes on the American people,” Romney told reporters. “I will not raise taxes on middle income Americans, and the president’s assertion and his ad’s assertion to the contrary are simply false. I want to bring down rates, make the code simpler,” he said.

Romney cited studies by the National Foundation of Independent Businesses and Rice University to claim his tax plan would create “millions” of jobs, while Obama’s would encourage small businesses to shed workers from their payrolls.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Romney: Jobs Numbers a 'Kick in the Gut'

Mario Tama/Getty Images(WOLFEBORO, N.H.) -- Taking an unscheduled break from his week-long vacation in New Hampshire, Mitt Romney told reporters on Friday that a lackluster U.S. job growth report for June was “another kick in the gut to middle class families.”

Romney said a stagnant 8.2 percent unemployment rate was “unacceptably high” and argued the president can’t fix the situation.

“The president doesn’t have a plan, hasn’t proposed any new ideas to get the economy going just the same old ideas of the past that have failed,” said Romney, standing with lawn-mowers and metal garbage cans on shelves behind him in the garage of Bradley’s Hardware in the resort town of Wolfeboro.

“I have a plan,” said Romney, ticking off portions of his 59-point economic plan.  He mentioned proposals to capitalize on energy resources in America, opening new trade agreements and cutting regulations.

But Romney was pressed to respond to conservative critics like the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal, which recently accused Romney of playing it too safe and not offering his own specific solutions to the fix economy.

“I don’t say much to critics,” Romney responded.  “I put out 59 steps on how I’d get the economy going and I don’t think I’ve seen any from the president that show what he’s planning on doing.  I’ve laid out my 59 steps take a look at them, I think you’ll find them very specific.”

The appearance at the hardware store was Romney’s first formal press conference since late May, when he took questions from reporters in California.  It came in the middle of a vacation where Romney has spent time with his entire family -- including his five sons, their wives and his 18 grandchildren.

Asked whether it’s hypocritical for him to be vacationing while the economy is still struggling -- being that his own campaign staffers often criticize President Obama’s penchant for golfing -- Romney said he is happy to be able to spend time with his family and wants the same for other Americans.

“You know I’m delighted to be able to take a vacation with my family I think all Americas appreciate the memories they have with their children and their grandchildren I hope more Americans are able to take vacations,” said Romney.  “And if I’m president of the United States I’m going to work very hard to make sure we have good jobs for all Americans who want good jobs and as part of a good job the capacity to take a vacation now and then with their loved ones.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


White House Says Employment Not Growing Fast Enough

Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Image(WASHINGTON) -- Reacting to Friday morning’s jobs report, the White House said the economy is continuing to heal, but that “much more remains to be done to repair the damage from the financial crisis.”

“It is critical that we continue the policies that build an economy that works for the middle class and makes us stronger and more secure as we dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession,” Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Alan Krueger said in a written statement.

“There are no quick fixes to the problems we face that were more than a decade in the making. President Obama has proposals to create jobs by ending tax breaks for companies to ship jobs overseas and supporting state and local governments to prevent layoffs and rehire hundreds of thousands of teachers,” he said.

The economy added 80,000 jobs in June -- fewer than expected -- and the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 8.2 percent, the Labor Department announced Friday morning.

The news comes as the president is campaigning in Ohio and Pennsylvania, touting his economic agenda and the comeback of the auto industry.

Krueger emphasized that the economy has added private sector jobs for 28 straight months and highlighted growth in the manufacturing sector, which added 11,000 jobs last month.

“Employment is growing but it is not growing fast enough given the jobs deficit caused by the deep recession,” he said.

As it does every month, the White House noted the unemployment figures can be volatile and that “it is important not to read too much into any one monthly report.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Boehner Challenges Obama to Play Political Rugby

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- After what he called another month of “disappointing job gains,” House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, challenged President Obama to abandon his day-to-day campaigning and engage Congress on “the big policies that are affecting our economy.”

“Whether it’s the tax rates that all expire at the end of the year, whether it’s the sequester that’s due to go into effect in January that will gut our military or our $16 trillion national debt, our 1.3 trillion budget deficit, maybe the president ought to get out of the badminton game and get into the rugby game that’s right in front of him,” Boehner said.

Obama travels to Minnesota on Friday to speak about the economy and press Congress to pass the items on his "To-Do List" for Congress, especially the Veterans Jobs Corps bill.

But congressional Republicans remain cool to any of the president’s proposals.

Asked whether there is any overlap between the president’s to-do list and House Republicans’ Plan for American Job Creators, Boehner stressed that Republicans have tried to find common ground with Democrats but claims the president had been a distant partner.

“Listen, we’ve worked together to pass the three free trade agreements. We’ve worked together to pass the veterans jobless bill. I can go down a long list,” he said. “[House Majority Leader Eric Cantor] and the Minority Whip [Steny Hoyer] have worked together on the Export Import bank to get it reauthorized. There a number of places we have found common ground, but it’s a constant search and it’s hard to sit down and find common ground when the president’s always out campaigning every day.”

Cantor, R-Va., called the jobs report “pathetic” and told reporters that “the American people really deserve better.” He said Republicans would pass legislation this summer to prevent any increase in taxes at the end of the year, and Republicans would pass a bill to repeal whatever’s left of the Affordable Care Act after the Supreme Court rules on the law later this month.

Boehner emphasized that Republicans have their own list of jobs bills that are languishing in the Democrat-controlled Senate, and repeated a common refrain.

“Small businesses continue to avert hiring any additional people, and it’s clear that the policies that we’ve seen are not working, and I would just hope that the president, my colleagues in the Senate, would look at our plan to create American jobs,” Boehner said. “We’ve passed over 30 bills that are sitting in the United States Senate. We can help the American people at a time of this great need if the Senate would just look at the bills that are before us."

“You’ve watched us for the last year and a half come up here every day and every week and make clear that our focus is the focus of the American people. We promised that we would listen to the American people and our focus is on this economy and jobs,” he continued.

“That’s why that continued to be our focus each and every day over the last year and a half, and it will remain that because the American people are in a desperate spot," Boehner said. "Millions of Americans have lost their jobs, are looking for work, and it’s time for us to change course and have real policies that will put Americans back to work.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Jobs Report: Economy Healing, More to Be Done, White House Says

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- In its first reaction to Friday morning’s April jobs report, the White House says the latest numbers are further evidence the economy is continuing to heal, but that “much more remains to be done to repair the damage caused by the financial crisis and the deep recession.”

“It is critical that we continue the economic policies that are helping us dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession that began at the end of 2007,” Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Alan Krueger writes in a White House blog.

“President Obama has said that prosperity in America has always come from a strong and growing middle class.  He has made clear that getting back to where we were is not enough. We need to do more, which is why the President has laid out his blueprint for an American economy that is built to last and will continue to urge Congress to act to do more to grow the economy and create jobs,” he writes.

The economy created 115,000 jobs last month, fewer than the roughly 160,000 expected. The unemployment rate dropped slightly from 8.2 percent in March to 8.1 percent in April.

Krueger notes the economy has added private sector jobs for 26 straight months and highlights manufacturing as a “bright spot” that added 16,000 jobs last month. “To continue the revival in manufacturing jobs and output, the President has proposed tax incentives for manufacturers, enhanced training for the workforce, and measures to create manufacturing hubs and encourage the growing trend of insourcing,” he writes.

As they do every month, the White House stresses that the monthly figures can be “volatile” and cautions “not to read too much into any one monthly report.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


White House on Jobs Report: 'Clearly, Faster Growth Is Needed'

Gary S Chapman/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In its first reaction to Friday’s jobs report -- in which it was shown that in August, not a single net job was added to employers' payrolls, a first since 1945 -- the White House says that the unemployment rate “remains unacceptably high” and that “clearly, faster growth is needed to replace the jobs lost in the downturn.”

Friday’s worse-than-expected jobs report from the Labor Department showed that the nation’s unemployment rate remains unchanged at 9.1 percent. However, in a White House blog Katharine Abraham, a member of the Council of Economic Advisers, notes that private sector payrolls increased by 17,000 and that "despite a slowdown in economic growth from substantial headwinds experienced throughout the year, the economy has added private sector jobs for 18 straight months, for a total of 2.4 million jobs over that period."

As it does every month, the White House notes that monthly unemployment numbers are “volatile” and that it’s important “not to read too much into any one monthly report.”

Friday’s figures set the stage as the president prepares to outline his jobs proposal before Congress next week. “Next week, the President will lay out a series of additional bipartisan steps that Congress can take immediately to put more money in the paychecks of working and middle class families; to make it easier for small businesses to hire workers; to put construction crews to work rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure; and other measures that will help the economy grow while still reducing our deficit and getting our fiscal house in order,” Abraham writes.

“This number is a real punch in the gut” to the Obama administration, said ABC News White House correspondent Ann Compton, who called the report “deeply discouraging.”

“This kind of stubborn unemployment is exactly what has prompted President Obama to plan for a jobs speech on a big stage. He wants to be standing there at Congress' door when they arrive back, with a tray full of specific tax incentives and jobs projects that would have impact in September and October.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio