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Obama confident of recovery despite worrying jobs data

President Barack Obama on Friday was upbeat about the state of the economy, declaring that it was headed in the right direction despite data showing that the economy lost jobs for the first time since December last month.

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AFP - President Barack Obama said Friday the US economy was headed in the right direction, but not quickly enough, after new jobs figures added to fears the recovery was slowing.

Obama put a positive spin on monthly Labor Department figures that showed the economy lost jobs for the first time since December, with 125,000 posts disappearing last month, mainly due to a cut in temporary census jobs.

"Our economy has created nearly 600,000 private sector jobs this year," Obama said.

"Make no mistake, we are headed in the right direction but ... we are not headed there fast enough for a lot of Americans. We are not headed there fast enough for me either."

Obama promised to do everything he could do to create jobs, as the swollen unemployment figures remain a huge issue in November's looming mid-term congressional elections.

In one bright spot for Obama, the unemployment rate fell to 9.5 percent from 9.7 percent, though that figure was largely due to people leaving the labor market as a result of pessimism about the economy.

The number of unemployed fell to 14.6 million but the loss of 125,000 jobs will add to worries that the economic path ahead will be bumpy.
 

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