As summer got under way, the federal government prepared for a boost in the economy, especially the green economy, and dubbed summer 2010 as Recovery Summer. Unfortunately the unemployment crisis continues with near record-high unemployment rates. On Friday, President Obama held a question and answer session about the economy in the Rose Garden and one attendee asked if the president regretted calling this summer Recovery Summer.

Q: Mr. President, to what degree to you regret the administration’s decision to call this "Recovery Summer”?
Obama: I don’t regret the notion that we are moving forward because of the steps that we’ve taken. And I’m going to have a press conference next week where, after you guys are able to hear where we’re at, we’ll be able to answer some specific questions. 
But the key point I'm making right now is that the economy is moving in a positive direction. Jobs are being created. They’re just not being created as fast as they need to, given the big hole that we experienced. And we’re going to have to continue to work with Republicans and Democrats to come up with ideas that can further accelerate that job growth.
I'm confident that we can do that. And the evidence that we’ve seen during the course of this summer and over the course of the last 18 months indicate that we’re moving in the right direction. We just have to speed it up. Source: White House

There is positive private-sector job growth, but it is nominal and the number of long-term unemployed workers is still hovering right around 6 million. That is 6 million Americans who have been out of work for 27 weeks or longer. Many of these individuals are benefitting from the unemployment benefit extension but when that runs out, we may quickly find ourselves in the middle of another financial mess.

So something needs to be done, preferably sooner vs. later. President Obama continues his pleas to Congress to stop the partisan game playing and let some important economic legislation come up for a vote. Until then, it will likely be business as usual with near 10 percent unemployment rate and millions of Americans losing hope that an end is in sight.

Photo: jurvetson/Flickr

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