Obama says the recession may be technically over, but not for those without work

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Obama: Recession goes on for those without jobs

BUFFALO, N.Y. — President Barack Obama says the recession isn’t over for people who can’t find jobs or pay their bills.

Obama told workers Thursday at a manufacturing plant in Buffalo that economists might consider the recession to be technically over. But he said, “it’s not a real recovery until people can feel it in their own lives.”

Obama said the economy is moving in the right direction. But he said he will keep pushing a jobs agenda so that more people can find work, pay their bills and send their children to college.

The president is making a three-hour stop in Buffalo before heading to New York City for a Democratic fundraiser.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — President Barack Obama is highlighting his steps to revive the economy, making the case in western New York, a region already in decline long before the recession hit.

Citing last week’s economic reports showing job growth in the U.S. for the fourth straight month, the president was arguing that his efforts to rescue the economy are working, despite an unemployment rate that continues to hover near 10 percent. He also was to focus on his administration’s efforts to help small businesses during his three-hour stop in Buffalo.

During the recession, Obama and his congressional allies “were forced to make some politically difficult decisions to get our economy back on track,” said White House press secretary Robert Gibbs. He said Obama will argue that as a result the economy is growing and jobs are being created.

Obama began his White House to Main Street tour in December with a trip to Allentown, Pa. He has also made stops in Charlotte, N.C., Savannah, Ga., and Quincy, Ill. In Buffalo, he was to tour Industrial Support Inc., a growing manufacturing company, and talk to employees about his economic agenda.

The president long has said he believes the success of small businesses will be vital to the nation’s economic recovery. During his remarks in Buffalo, Obama was expected to urge Congress to act quickly on new job creation measures that could strengthen small businesses.

Last week, the president sent Congress a proposal to create a $30 billion support program to unfreeze credit for small businesses. The health care overhaul he signed into law in March also included tax credits for small businesses, and the president has said those already are reaching some companies.

Help for small businesses would be especially welcome in cities like Buffalo, where large corporations have downsized and manufacturing jobs have been shipped overseas. Western New York long has suffered from a lack of job growth and population losses. Two New York state residents who’ve started a website to draw attention to unemployment and other problems they blame on Washington put up a billboard along Interstate 190 that reads: “Dear Mr. President. I need a freakin job. Period.”

Nearly 60 percent of registered voters in upstate New York say the state’s economy is getting worse, according to a poll conducted this month by the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. Just 11 percent believe the state’s economy is improving.

Obama also met briefly with several people who lost family members in a 2009 plane crash in a Buffalo suburb. The families have been pushing for changes in aviation safety regulations in the wake of the crash, which killed 50.

From Buffalo, Obama was to travel to New York City to attend a Democratic congressional fundraiser before returning to Washington late Thursday.

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