Obama names Sperling to top economic post

January 7, 2011 9:05:57 AM PST
President Barack Obama says a new jobs report shows a trend in the right direction even though the numbers are fluctuating and hiring and growth must still accelerate.

The December jobs report out Friday morning showed the nation's unemployment rate fell to 9.4 percent, the lowest level since May 2009. That was because more people found jobs, but also because many gave up on their job searches.

Obama pointed to optimistic economic forecasts for the year ahead. He said, "The trend is clear."

Obama spoke at a window manufacturing plant in suburban Maryland, where he also made some personnel announcements on key economic posts. He named veteran economic adviser Gene Sperling to head the National Economic Council, a key role for a White House intent on driving down unemployment even further as Obama gears up for re-election.