US businesses created 2.2 million jobs last year: Obama
Washington: Stating that businesses in America created 2. 2 million jobs last year, US President Barack Obama on Friday said the Congress should work together on a balanced approach to reduce deficit and promote economic growth and job creation.
In his weekly address to the nation, Obama said the country's economy was poised to expand in 2013 "if Washington politics doesn't get in the way".
He said this year began with economists and business leaders saying the country was poised to grow in 2013.
"And there are real signs of progress: Home prices are starting to climb again. Car sales are at a five-year high. Manufacturing is roaring back.
"Our businesses created 2. 2 million jobs last year.And we just learned that our economy created more jobs over the last few months than economists originally thought," Obama said in his web and radio address.
He said this week the country also received its first estimate of America's economic growth over the last few months.
"And it reminded us that bad decisions in Washington can get in the way of our economic progress," he said.
"We all agree that it's critical to cut unnecessary spending. But we can't just cut our way to prosperity. It hasn't worked in the past, and it won't work today.
"It could slow down our recovery. It could weaken our economy. And it could cost us jobs ? now, and in the future," Obama said.
What instead was required, was a balanced approach, the US President said.
"...An approach that says let's cut what we can't afford but let's make the investments we can't afford to live without".
He called for investments in education and infrastructure, research and development, "the things that will help America compete for the best jobs and new industries".
Obama said 2013 can be a year of solid growth, more jobs, and higher wages.
"But that will only happen if we put a stop to self-inflicted wounds in Washington. Everyone in Washington needs to focus not on politics but on what's right for the country; on what's right for you and your families," he said.
"That's how we'll get our economy growing faster. That's how we'll strengthen our middle class. And that's how we'll build a country that rewards the effort and determination of every single American," Obama added.