Responding to an unexpected jump in the jobless rate, President Obama on Friday called on Congress to pass legislation he contends will help put Americans back to work.
He urged Congress to immediately pass legislation to streamline the patent process to help entrepreneurs, and invest in infrastructure and railways projects that could put unemployed construction workers back to work.
“Today’s jobs reports confirms what most Americans already know, we still have a long way to go and a lot of work to do,” Obama said.
Unemployment rose slightly to 9.2 percent in June, as only 18,000 jobs were added, less than one-fifth of analysts' estimates. The sectors facing employment declines included government, financial services and construction.
The rising unemployment rate was a jolt to the White House. The consensus estimate, which was upwardly revised following a strong ADP National Employment Report on Thursday, was for a net job gain around 110,000 and a slight dip in the unemployment rate to 9.0 percent. The unemployment rate in May was 9.1 percent. Friday’s gain was the weakest since September 2010.
This article appears in the July 8, 2011, edition of National Journal Daily PM Update.