(WASHINGTON) — In its first reaction to Friday morning’s disappointing jobs report, the White House said the nation is still fighting back from the recession and that the “problems in the job market were long in the making and will not be solved overnight.”
“There is much more work that remains to be done to repair the damage caused by the financial crisis and deep recession that began at the end of 2007,” Alan Krueger, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, wrote in a White House blog.
“Just like last year at this time, our economy is facing serious headwinds, including the crisis in Europe and a spike in gas prices that hit American families’ finances over the past months. It is critical that we continue the President’s economic policies that are helping us dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession,” Krueger added, pointing to the president’s legislative “to-do list” for Congress to boost the economy, which he will be promoting Friday in Minneapolis.
The economy added just 69,000 jobs last month — below expectations of 150,000 — and the unemployment rate ticked up to 8.2 percent, the Labor Department announced Friday morning.
Krueger points to manufacturing, education and health services, along with transportation and warehousing as examples of areas where employment continues to expand.
As it does every month, the White House stresses that the monthly figures can be “volatile” and that “it is important not to read too much into any one monthly report.”
Meanwhile, Mitt Romney chimed in on the latest jobs report Friday morning, saying the weak numbers are one reason why he’s running for president.
“Slowing GDP growth, plunging consumer confidence, an increase in unemployment claims, and now another dismal jobs report all stand as a harsh indictment of the President’s handling of the economy. It is now clear to everyone that President Obama’s policies have failed to achieve their goals and that the Obama economy is crushing America’s middle class. The President’s re-election slogan may be ‘forward,’ but it seems like we’ve been moving backward,” he said in a statement.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Kevin Liptak, CNN
Tom LoBianco, Deirdre Walsh and Tal Kopan, CNN
Stephen Collinson, CNN