White House: Unemployment Rate Went Up Because More People Want to Work

Republicans quickly pounced on the last unemployment report before the election as the White House once again said the rate, which ticked up from 7.8 percent in September to 7.9 percent last month, shows the need to keep President Obama’s policies.


Alan B. Krueger, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, said private sector businesses added 184,000 jobs last month, the biggest monthly gain in eight months.

He said the jump in unemployment was largely due to more people entering the work force. “The labor force rose by 578,000 people in October, and the labor force participation rate increased by 0.2 percentage point. The share of the population employed rose by 0.1 percentage point to 58.8 percent,” Krueger wrote in a statement this morning. “Over the last 12 months, the unemployment rate has decreased by 1.0 percentage point, as a result of growing employment.”

“Today brought more disappointing economic news for the American people,” said Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee. “After trillions wasted on failed stimulus projects, a takeover of our health care system and preferential industry bailouts, all President Obama has to show for it is $16 trillion in national debt, $5.5 trillion of which came from just four years of his failed leadership. At this point, the American people are no longer surprised by the failure of the president’s policies. They are disappointed and fed up.”

Krueger added that “to create more jobs in particularly hard-hit sectors, President Obama continues to urge Congress to pass elements of the American Jobs Act, including further investment in infrastructure to rebuild our Nation’s ports, roads and highways, and assistance to State and local governments to prevent layoffs and to enable them to rehire hundreds of thousands of teachers.”


“Although our nation’s economic growth is far too slow and our unemployment rate is far too high, President Obama believes we should continue the same failed policies and raise taxes on American families and small businesses,” said Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

“Four years of persistently high unemployment and long-term joblessness might be the best President Obama can do – but it’s nowhere near what the American people can do if we get Washington out of their way,” said House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

“We’ve also begun the process of fixing our tax code to help bring jobs home. Now all we need is a partner in the White House who will lead the way on removing barriers to robust job growth – not create new barriers,” said Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), who has been campaigning intensely for Mitt Romney.


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