WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama recognized new private sector job creation figures as a “good sign,” but acknowledged that “progress needs to come faster” for Americans facing high unemployment levels. The Labor Department report showed 131,000 jobs were lost in July and the unemployment rate remained stuck at 9.5 percent.The private sector created 71,000 jobs in the month, which was insufficient offset the enormous government layoffs of 143,000 census-takers.
The figures were seen as yet another sign that the US economic recovery is stagnating, and that the jobs market may take years to get back on its feet. “The road to recovery doesn’t follow a straight line. Some sectors bounce back faster than others,” Obama said. Obama said the data showed jobs growing in the private sector for seven consecutive months. “That’s a good sign. Meanwhile our manufacturing sector that’s been hit hard for as long as folks can remember has added 183,000 jobs this year. That’s the most robust seven months of manufacturing growth in over a decade,” he said. “But for America’s workers, families, and small businesses, progress needs to come faster. Our job is to make sure that happens.” Obama said the latest figures underscored the need for final passage of a bill aimed at saving 160,000 teacher jobs.