Written by Amber Smith
Unemployment is down to 7.7 percent, according to the employment situation summary released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday.
“The unemployment rate edged down to 7.7 percent in February but has shown
little movement, on net, since Sept. 2012,” the summary read.
President Obama commented on these new employment numbers and the overall state of the economy in his weekly address, released Saturday morning.
“My top priority as President is making sure we do everything we can to reignite the true engine ofAmerica’s economic growth – a rising, thriving middle class,” he said. “Yesterday, we received some welcome news on that front. We learned that our businesses added nearly 250,000 new jobs last month. The unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent—still too high, but now lower than it was when I took office.”
Creating jobs and improving the economy have been major focal points for the Obama administration since taking office in 2008.
According to the Bureau’s statistics, unemployment fluctuated between 4.4 and 6.3 percent from 2003 to 2008. This rate then saw a steady climb from 5 percent in April 2008 to 10 percent in October 2009.
At this point, the unemployment rate remained about the same, fluctuating between 9.9 and 9.8 percent from November to the following April. No real change was seen until a steady decline began in Sept. 2011 when the unemployment rate hit 9 percent.
This period of decline continues into the present with the recently announced 7.7 percent rate for Feb. 2013.
Though Obama had to deal with high levels of unemployment during his first term, he is optimistic about the economy’s recent upturn.
“Our businesses have created jobs every month for three years straight – nearly 6.4 million new jobs in all,” he said. “Our manufacturers are bringing jobs back toAmerica. Our stock market has rebounded. New homes are being built and sold at a faster pace. And we need to do everything we can to keep that momentum going.”
He emphasized that party lines should not get in the way of improving the economy.
“As Democrats and Republicans, we may disagree on the best way to achieve our goals, but I’m confident we can agree on what those goals should be,” Obama said. “A strong and vibrant middle class. An economy that allows businesses to grow and thrive. An education system that gives more Americans the skills they need to compete for the jobs of the future. An immigration system that actually works for families and businesses. Stronger communities and safer streets for our children.”
Obama ended his address by promising that more debate over economic and other important issues will be underway. He also and invited concerned citizens to help improve the quality of life for middle-class Americans.
“So I’ll keep fighting to solve the real challenges facing middle-class families,” he said. “And I’ll enlist anyone who is willing to help. That’s what this country needs now – and that’s what you deserve.”