US economy growing strong, recovery speeding up: Obama
US President Barack Obama has said country's economy is growing strong and recovery is speeding up.
Obama's remarks on the state of the economy came hours after latest report showed that unemployment rate has dropped to 8.3% as added more than 2.4 lakh new jobs in January.
"This morning, we received more good news about our economy. In January, American businesses added another 257,000 jobs. The unemployment rate came down because more people found work. And altogether, we've added 3.7 million new jobs over the last 23 months," said the US president.
"Now, these numbers will go up and down in the coming months, and there's still far too many Americans who need a job, or need a job that pays better than the one they have now.
But the economy is growing stronger. The recovery is speeding up. And we've got to do everything in our power to keep it going," Obama said.
At the same time, Obama argued, the US can't go back to the policies that led to the recession.
"We can't let Washington stand in the way of our recovery. We want Washington to be helping with the recovery, not making it tougher," he said.
"The most important thing Congress needs to do right now is to stop taxes from going up on 160 million Americans at the end of this month. They've got to renew the payroll tax cut that they extended only for a couple of months," he said.
"They need to pass an extension of the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance -- and do it without drama, without delay, without linking it to some ideological side issues.
They just need to get it done. It shouldn't be that complicated. Now is not the time for self-inflicted wounds to our economy," Obama said adding that now is the time for action.
"So I want to send a clear message to Congress: Do not slow down the recovery that we're on. Don't muck it up. Keep it moving in the right direction," he said.
Beyond preventing a tax hike, the nation needs to do a lot more to create an economy that's built to last.
"To restore American manufacturing, we need to stop giving tax breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas; give those tax breaks to companies that are investing in plants and equipment and hiring workers right here in the United States of America. That makes a lot of sense," he argued.
"To reduce our dependency on foreign oil, we need to stop subsidising oil companies that are already making record profits, and double down on clean energy, that creates jobs and creates opportunities in new industries but also improves our security, because we're not as dependent on foreign oil," Obama said.
"To make sure our businesses don't have to move overseas to find skilled workers, we've got to invest in education, and make sure college is affordable for every hardworking American," said the US President.