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President Barack Obama said Friday that new unemployment numbers show that the economy is growing and cited “more optimistic economic forecasts for the year ahead.”
The December jobs report shows that the unemployment rate fell from 9.8 percent to 9.4 percent — the most significant drop in months — and points to more than 100,000 private-sector jobs being created.
“The trend is clear,” Obama said during remarks at a manufacturing plant in Landover, Md. “We saw 12 straight months of private-sector job growth. That’s the first time that’s been true since 2006.”
The president also said to expect stronger numbers going forward, due in part to the tax-cut package he pushed through during the lame-duck Congress.
“I fought for that package,” he said. “The government can’t guarantee businesses will be successful ... . But the government can remove obstacles in your path.”
Obama used the occasion to officially announce Gene Sperling as the new director of the White House National Economic Council. He also formally announced Jason Furman as assistant to the president for economic policy and as the NEC’s principal deputy director. In addition, he announced his intent to nominate Katharine Abraham to the Council of Economic Advisers and Heather Higginbottom as deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget.