From NBC's Ali Weinberg
Reacting to August's jobs report, President Obama said that while there is no one solution for economic recovery, he would be announcing a "broader package" of ideas to spur job growth next week, and urged Congress to move on small business legislation when it resumes session.
The president's remarks came shortly after the Bureau of Labor Statistics released last months' unemployment figures which showed an uptick from 9.5% in July to 9.6%, but an addition of 67,000 to the private sector - a better than expected increase.
Still, the private sector increase was not large enough to represent significant recovery, outgoing Council of Economic Advisors chair Christina Romer said. In a blog released by the White House today, she wrote that the increase is "not as large as needed to bring the unemployment rate down quickly."
In the midst of criticism that his administration isn't focusing on jobs, Obama said he would be announcing further steps aimed at lowering unemployment in a series of economic events next week: first, a Labor Day speech in Milwaukee, WI, then an event in Cleveland, OH on Wednesday, and a Friday press conference at the White House.
Speaking in the Rose Garden today, Obama said that the private sector increase "reflects the steps we've already taken to break the back of this recession but it's not nearly good enough," urging Congress, as he has repeatedly this week, to double down on passing a package of tax cuts and loans for small businesses that could not make it past a Republican filibuster in the Senate.
"Put simply, this piece of legislation is good for workers, it's good for small businesspeople and its' good for our economy," Obama said, condemning Republicans for inflicting "needless delay" on passage of the bill.
House Minority Leader John Boehner also responded to the unemployment rate, saying the high figure is a direct result of the Obama administration's economic decisions.
"President Obama's agenda represented 'change' once, but now it is time for him to change course, abandon his job-killing policies, and find himself a new economic team," Boehner said, according to the AP.