President Obama cheerful over small drop in jobless rate: 'This is good news'
BY MICHAEL MCAULIFF AND KENNETH R. BAZINET -- NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Saturday, December 5th 2009,
President Obama delivers remarks on the economy at Lehigh Carbon Community College in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
Economy sheds fewest jobs since 2007
WASHINGTON - Buoyed by an unexpectedly encouraging jobs report, President Obama turned his full focus on the economy Friday, vowing to combat "the gut punch of a pink slip."
Job losses fell to the lowest level since 2006, and the Labor Department reported the unemployment rate actually dipped to 10%, when many officials, including Obama, expected it to worsen.
"This is good news, just in time for the season of hope," a rejuvenated Obama declared to workers and business owners in Allentown, Pa. "I've got to admit my chief economist, Christy Romer, she got about four hugs when she handed us the report."
Caught by surprise, Obama and his aides scrambled to rewrite the Allentown speech because of the surprising unemployment data.
"There are going to be some months where the reports are a little better, some months where the reports are worse, but the trend line right now is good. The direction is clear," Obama said.
He will work this weekend on a speech he will deliver Tuesday outlining what Congress should include in a new jobs bill.
Obama is considering using unspent Wall Street bailout money to help put Americans back to work, but Republicans are already sniping at that idea.