WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - President Barack Obama Friday said that new data on job creation released Friday was a positive sign for the American economy.
However, he said, speaking at an event at the newly formed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, more remains to be done.
'More private sector jobs were created in 2011 than any year since 2005,' Obama said. 'After losing more than 8 million jobs in the recession, obviously we have a lot more work to do. But it is important for the American people to recognize that we've now added 3.2 million new private sector jobs over the last 22 months -- nearly 2 million jobs last year alone.'
He added, 'After shedding jobs for more than a decade, our manufacturing sector is also adding jobs two years in a row now. So we're making progress. We're moving in the right direction.'
Obama said that while he recognized that many people and small businesses are struggling and facing tough times, the economy is now moving in the right direction and showing real progress.
'We're creating jobs on a consistent basis. We're not going to let up -- not until everybody who wants to find a good job can find one,' Obama said. 'But we have a responsibility to do even more than just try to recover from this devastating recession and financial crisis.'
He added, 'We have a responsibility to make sure that the economy that we're rebuilding is one where middle-class families feel like they can get ahead again. A lot of the problems that we're dealing with are problems that existed even before the recession, even before the financial crisis.'
Obama said that the employees of the new bureau would play a critical role in ensuring that everyone plays by the same rules and establishing a level playing field.
'That's your mission -- to make sure that the American people have somebody in their corner,' he said. 'That American consumer have somebody who's got their back.'
Obama said that the millions of Americans who use financial products, from credit cards to student loans, can reap tremendous benefits from them.
'But when they're sold in an irresponsible fashion they can also make life brutally hard on people,' he said. 'They can turn the dreams of a family into a nightmare. Things like hidden fees and traps on credit cards and student loans cost working American billions of dollars.'
He added, 'Things like subprime loans and skyrocketing interest that you can't escape cannot only bring families to their knees but the entire economy to its knees.'
Obama said such practices hurt not only individuals but the entire economy.
'This is not something where it's just a Washington top-down process,' he said. 'You are gathering the experiences of individual families, seeing how they got hurt, how they might have gotten cheated.'
He added, 'That's helping to define how you enforce these rules. And that's vitally important.'
With the establishment of the new bureau, Obama said that American consumers would no longer be alone in having to face unfair practices.
'We can make sure that folks don't lose their homes or their life savings just because somebody saw them as an easy target,' he said. 'We can make sure that students don't start out in life saddled with debt that they can never pay back just because of a lousy deal. We can safeguard families and seniors and veterans from toxic financial products.'
He added, 'We can help give everybody the clear and transparent information that they need to make informed financial decisions and have companies compete for their business in an open and honest way.'
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
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