Obama: U.S. scores economic progress, long-term plan needed

09:44, September 29, 2010      

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U.S. President Barack Obama said on Tuesday that the United States had made progress in economic recovery and was moving in the right direction, but the nation needed a long-term plan to stay competitive.

"An economy that was shrinking, was contracting by 6 percent when I was sworn in, is now growing again. We were losing 750,000 jobs a month when I was sworn in. We've had eight consecutive months of private sector job growth," he said when addressing a small group at an Albuquerque family in New Mexico.

U.S. unemployment rate ticked up to 9.6 percent in August. Non-farm payroll employment declined by 54,000 last month, primarily caused by a decrease of 114,000 in the number of temporary workers hired for the decennial census. Private-sector payroll employment rose by 67,000, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

In addition to the immediate crisis that the nations was dealing with, one of the challenges facing the United States was to have a plan over the long run to maintain the country's competitiveness and provide opportunities for middle-class Americans to prosper and to expand, Obama added.

Nearly 8.5 million jobs have been lost since the start of the recession in December 2007, and economists don't expect those losses to be recovered any time soon considering the severity of the recession and the slow recovery pace.

"The issue of how we stay competitive and are able to succeed in the next generation the same way that previous generations have succeeded, that's a question that I think a lot of people have been asking themselves for a long time," he said.

Source: Xinhua


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