Goolsbee exit comes at tough time for Obama, economy

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“I’m not concerned about a double-dip recession,” Mr. Obama said at a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “I am concerned about the fact that the recovery we’re on is not producing jobs as quickly as I want it to happen. We’ve still got some enormous work to do, and as long as there are some folks out there who are unemployed, looking for work, then every morning when I wake up, I’m going to be thinking about how we can get them back to work.”

The report from the Economic Policy Institute said the May unemployment rate “hugely understates” the gap in the labor market because simply keeping up with the growth in the working-age population would have required adding 4.1 million jobs since the recession began in December 2007.

That means the labor market would need to have added 11 million jobs by now to get back to the pre-recession unemployment rate of 5.0 percent.

Mr. Obama said people need to remember how close the world economy came to “disaster” two years ago. Looking at Mrs. Merkel for support, he said they try to take a long-range view of economic recovery plans.

“What we try not to do is look day-to-day, at whatever is happening in the marketplace or whatever headlines are taking place, and be reactive,” Mr. Obama said.

“Our job is to set a course for the medium and the long term that assures not only both our economies grow, but the world economy is stable and prosperous.”

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