Reporting from Washington — After enjoying a streak of good news on the jobs front, President Obama’s reaction to the disappointing March job report was measured and quick.
Obama made only a passing reference to the report on Friday, as he addressed a White House forum on women and the workforce. The president seized on bright spots – a slightly lower unemployment rate and the 120,000 new jobs -- and then qualified his optimism.
“But it's clear to every American that there will still be ups and downs along the way and that we've got a lot more work to do,” Obama said. “And that includes addressing challenges that are unique to women's economic security, challenges that have been around since long before the recession hit.”
The monthly report from the Labor Department found that employers added a modest 120,000 new jobs in March, ending a streak of solid job gains in the previous three months. The nation's jobless rate inched down to 8.2% from 8.3% in February, but the size of the labor force shrunk, an indication that some people were giving up on the search for work and being left out of the headcount of the unemployed.