President Barack Obama said Wednesday he is “entirely dissatisfied” with the level of US unemployment and cannot congratulate himself on his first year in office because the jobless rate is so high.
“I am entirely dissatisfied with where we are right now in terms of jobs, and the fact that families out there on the eve of Christmas are still really worried,” Obama said in an interview with public television station PBS.
“And so I don’t pat myself on the back at the end of this year,” the US leader said after 11 months in office.
“But what I do have confidence in is that we’ve made good decisions, that we’ve applied sound judgment to some very difficult situations,” added Obama.
The president noted that his administration faced an unusually tough set of challenges.
“I’ve spoken to some historians, and I think they will agree, regardless of, you know, your political preferences, that we had as much on our plate this year as any president has ever had in their first year” since former president Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Roosevelt held office between 1933 and 1945 and had to deal with the ravages of the Great Depression.
“I think I’ve shown this year that I can make hard decisions, even when they’re not popular, and that I take a long view on these problems,” Obama said.
“And I frankly think that’s what America needs right now.”
Earlier this month, official figures showed the unemployment rate fell in November to 10.0 percent from 10.2 percent, a 23-year high.