The worst of the U.S. recession may be over, President Barack Obama said Friday.
“Today, we’re pointed in the right direction,” Mr. Obama said in brief remarks from the Rose Garden. “We’re losing jobs at less than half the rate we were when I took office. We’ve pulled the financial system back from the brink and the rising market is restoring value to 401Ks that are the foundation of a secure retirement.”
Earlier Friday, the Labor Department said nonfarm payrolls declined by 247,000 in July, the best performance since last August. The unemployment rate, meanwhile, slid unexpectedly from 9.5% to 9.4%.
Mr. Obama said the figures, along with second-quarter growth data released last week, suggest “the worst may be behind us.” But he added that the economy isn’t out of the woods.
“We have a lot further to go. As far as I’m concerned, we will not have a true recovery as long as we’re losing jobs,” Mr. Obama said. “We have a steep mountain to climb and we started in a very deep valley.”
Though he said the tough times aren’t over for the economy, Mr. Obama said it is time to look ahead to what the country will look like after the recession, repeating his call for health-care and education reform and clean energy.
“As we begin to put an end to this recession, we have to consider what comes next,” he said. “We cannot turn back to the failed policies of the past, nor can we stand still.”
– via wsj