Tom Pennington/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — President Obama made an unscheduled trip to a Washington, D.C.-based tech start-up to cheer about the rosy jobs numbers released Thursday morning and promote his economic strategy.
“We have made enormous strides, thanks to the incredible hard work of the American people and American businesses that have been out there competing, getting smarter, getting more effective. And it’s making a difference all across the country,” Obama told workers at “1776,” which the White House describes as a “global hub” to help start-up companies.
The government reported Thursday that 288,000 jobs were created last month and that the unemployment rate dropped to 6.1 percent — the lowest since September 2008.
“We’ve now seen the fastest job growth in the United States in the first half of the year since 1999. So this is also the first time we’ve seen five consecutive months of job growth over 200,000 since 1999. And we’ve seen the quickest drop in unemployment in 30 years,” the president said to applause.
Obama also took the time to swipe again at Congress for not passing legislation his administration thinks is necessary to grow the economy, including immigration legislation, bulking up the Highway Trust Fund and raising the federal minimum wage.
“We can make even more progress if Congress is willing to work with my administration and to set politics aside, at least occasionally, which I know is what the American people are urgently looking for,” he said, adding that rebuilding the country is “a sort of economic patriotism.”
Other statistics the White House touted included adding 9.7 million jobs over 52 consecutive months and that jobs added in the technology sectors of the economy rose 12 percent since the last recession.
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