market could suffer. you can find out mup more on everything we have been covering on the program on our website. there is the front page. the address, aljazeera.com. and there our top story, thousands heading to turkey as the syrian offensive on aleppo continues. ♪ ♪ >> president obama is expected to make remarks on the economy very shortly as the markets dip in response to a disappointing jobs report, despite unemployment hitting an 8-year low. the closing of wal-mart stores takes a heavy toll on the rural communities around them. >> i really don't think these kinds of attacks by insinuation with worthy of you, and enough is enough. >> things get heated in new hampshire ahead of tuesday's
primary. and the u.n. panel delivers welcome news to wikileak founder julian assange. ♪ this is al jazeera america live from new york city. i'm richelle carey. we are waiting to hear from president obama who is expected to speak shortly about the state of the economy, this coming just a few hours after the release of the mixed january jobs report. 151,000 jobs were added last month. but the unemployment rate fell to an eight-year low of 4.9%. stocks, though, have been trading in negative territory all day, fol falling more than 20 points. here is the president. let's listen. >> i wanted to stop by, because as you are aware of now,
america's businesses created another 151,000 jobs last month. the unemployment rate has now fallen to 4.5%. even as more americans join the job market last month. so this the first time that the unemployment rate has dipped below 5% in almost eight years. americans are working. all told, over the past six years our businesses have added 14 million new jobs. 71 straight months of private sector job growth extends the longest streak on record. over the past two years, 2014, and 2015, our businesses added more jobs than any time since the 1990s. most importantly, this progress is finally starting to translate into bigger paychecks. over the past six months, wages have grown at their fastest wait since their crisis.
and the policies that i'll push this year, are designed to give workers even more leverage to earn raises and promotions. so unemployment, deficits, gas prices, are all down. jobs, wages, and the rate of the insured are up. i should mention by the way, that since i signed obamacare into law, nearly 18 million americans have gained coverage, and our businesses have created jobs every month since. on net all of them full-time jobs. >> so as i said in my state of the union address. the united states of america right now has the strongest, most durable economy in the world. i know that's still inconvenient for republican stump speeches as their doom and despair tour plays in new hampshire, i guess you cannot please everybody. that does not mean that we do
not have more work to do. there is softness in the global economy. china is going through a transition. europe's economy is still low. a lot of the emerging markets are challenged. so that's all creating headwinds for a lot of u.s. companies who do business overseas. it makes us more difficult for us to sell exports. so we have to take smart steps this year to continue progress. and we have to do more to make sure that the progress that we do make is broadly based and impacting folks up and down the income scales. the budget that i send to congress on tuesday is going to make sure that we can continue that progress. talking down the american economy, by the way, does not make that progress. my budget is going to offer more opportunities for americans to get the education and job training that they need for a good-paying job. it will offer new ideas for benefits and protections that
provide folks with a basic sense of security, and will create more good-paying jobs, not by subsiding the past, but by emphasizing the future. and that's why we'll place an emphasize on clean energy. that's one reason why my budget is going to double our investment in clean energy research and development by the ex-of the decade. in that will help businesses create more jobs faster, and lower the cost of clean energy faster, and help renewable power complete with dirty fuels across america in a more effective way. those are some of the steps that are going to make sure our future is even stronger, a future that is worthy of the hard work and determination of the american people. the progress we have made going from 10% down to under 5. that's a testament to american
workers, american businesses, the american people being resilient and sticking to it, and my hope is, is that rather than hinder their progress, we're going to continue to help them make progress. with that, have a great weekend. enjoy the super bowl. i'm not telling you my pick. because the bears aren't in it, and but i am hoping for a great game. with that, josh? is he back there? josh, take it away. >> reporter: [ inaudible ] you dosht get enough credit -- >> let me take a couple of questions. why not? i'm in a good mood it's friday. >> reporter: you were implying yesterday in a joking way, that you don't get enough credit -- >> this is when i was talking with the warriors. >> reporter: were you again
referring to republicans and their message, which you could say reflects the election, or were you referring to polls who 60% of americans don't think things are going well. >> well, at the time i was making a joke with a basketball team, but there's no doubt that while we have made significant progress -- and i talked about this during the state of the union, there's still anxiety, and concern about the general direction of the economy. if you look at some of the surveys, people feel better about their circumstances, their finances, but they are not sure about the future, and part of it is there's still a pretty big carryover from the devastation that took place in 2007 and 2008. if your home value drops in half, or you lose a job that you thought you were secure in, or
your pension suddenly looks vulnerable, you are going to remember that. so a lot of people still feel that, and they are right to recognize that there are some longer-term economic trends that we still have to tackle; that the economy is more dynamic, and it churns faster, and the pressure on companies to maximize short-term returns oftentimes at the expense of long-term investment. the lack of loyalty, sometimes to workers who have built those companies and are threatening to be laid off, the fact that wages and incomes up until the last six months haven't gone up as fast as corporate profits have, or benefits at the very top. all of those things people feel and experience, so even though they know things are better, they are worried where are we
going? so i think the argument i'm making here, and will continue to make during the course of this year, and we should be proud of the progress we have made. we have recovered from the worst economic crisis since the 1930s, the worst in my lifetime, and we have done it faster, stronger, better, more durably than just about any other advanced economy. had we adopted some of the policies that were advocated by republicans over the last four, five, six years, we know we would have probably done worse, and we know that, because a lot of european countries have adopted those policies, and they haven't gotten to the same place they were before the crisis. so evidence, facts are on our side. and this jobs report gives you one more indication that the facts are on our side. i think it's important for us, then to understand how do we
take the next step and make people feel more secure and confident about the future, and that's why investments in education and job training, going after the costs of higher education, making sure that issues like paid leave and family leave are put in place, raising the minimum wage so if you are working full-time you are not in poverty. making sure we're investing in transportation, infrastructure, and clean energy. going after the jobs of the future. investing in technology, all of those things are a recipe for continued growth, and increased security. and as far as i can tell, those who are running down the economy and adding to the anxiety don't seem to have any plausible coherent recipe other than cut taxes for those who have been doing the best in this economy, and somehow magically that is going to make other folks feel
good. or they argue that the reason your are feeling insecure is because im -- immigrants or poor people are taking more and more of your paycheck, and that's just not true. these facts don't bare that out. that's not what is depressing wages for middle class families or making them more vulnerable to disruptions in this economy. and i want to keep on making that argument during the course of this year. we should feel good about the progress we have made, understanding that we've still got more work to do. it's sort of like, you know, i'm 54 now, so i have got to work out harder to stay in shape, and, you know, if -- if, i'm feeling good in the gym, i want to acknowledge that what i'm doing is working, otherwise i'll just go off and have a big
double bacon cheeseburger or something. if it's working, then we should be staying on that same path. that doesn't mean that i'm where i necessarily want to be. it doesn't mean that i stop, you know, doing some hard work to get where we need to go. all right? and i was only going to make two -- i'm just going to take two. all right. go ahead. >> reporter: thank you, mr. president. how can you improve work force participation levels? because as much as people talk about the recovery, so few americans are now relatively speaking in the job force especially compared to 2008? and if you wouldn't mind can you comment on the $10 per barrel fee we have heard so much about. >> on the first question, part of what was good in this jobs report was the fact that the participation rate in fact
didn't drop; that wasn't the reason why unemployment dropped. more people are entering into the work force, and they are finding work. but what is true is, is that we're still at a point where the labor participation rate is lower than it has been historically. some of that is explained by demographics. the population is getting older, and so you would expect that there is some decline, but it's nol fully explained by americans getting older. some of this is still the hangover from what happened in 2007, 2008. and this is part of the reason why we have to keep our -- our -- our foot to the -- to the accelerator in terms of doing things that need to be done to keep the economy growing and strong. we should not let up from the progress that has been made.
so that the labor market continues to tighten. people feel more confident that if they look for work, they can find it. there are some cases where some folks have been out of the labor market for a long time, and may not be equipped for the jobs of today, and that's where we have got to target some special efforts. i get a lot of letters from middle-aged workers who got laid off, aren't confident about their current skills, and so have not yet re-entered the work force. they need to get retrained. and so that's a special group of folks in their late 40s, early 50s, still far away from retirement, but feel like they can't adapt. obviously there are young people, high school dropouts, folks in rural communities and inner cities that just have -- came of age right in the
middle of this terrible recession, and haven't gotten attached to the labor market yet, and so we have got to make special efforts to figure out how do we get them into job training programs or community college and allow them to get some skills? so there's a wide set of stroot -- strategies we can take on that, but it's going to -- it's going to require overall, though, a strong labor market for them to feel like it's worth it to make these -- you know, to make these efforts and -- and we want to keep making sure that the labor market is as strong as possible. with respect to oil and energy. i'll probably make a larger speech about that, and -- and the direction we need to go on this. the basic proposition is, is that right now gas is $1.80.
and gas prices are expected to be low for a while, for the foreseeable future. that overall can be a good thing for the economy. but what is also important is that we use this period where gas prices are low to accelerate a transition to a cleaner energy economy, because we know that is not going to last. you know, every one of us have -- have seen cycles where gas prices go down, and then they pop back up, and the idea here is, is that -- if we say to oil companies, which by the way, got a significant benefit when we -- in the omnibus, allowed them for the first time to export oil. up until that point, domestic oil producers wouldn't export.
so if we say we know you are having to retool, you are allowed to export, but we're also saying we're going to provide -- we're going to impose a tax on a barrel of oil imported, exported, so that some of that revenue can be used for transportation, some of that revenue can be used for the investments and basic research and technology that is going to be needed for the energy sources of the future. then ten years from now, 15 years from now, 20 years from now, we're going to be in a much stronger position which oil starts getting tight again, prices start going up again, we will have further weaned our economy off of dirty fuels. we will have not just made environmental progress, but we'll also have a how much stronger economy, stronger infrastructure. we'll be creating the jobs of the future, and i think we'll look back and say that was a
smart investment. that was a wise decision for us to make. but the point is, it's right to do it now, when gas prices are really low, and they will be low for quite sometime to come, so it's not going to be a disruptive factor in terms of the economy. all right? okay. guys. of course, they always say something. i only said two questions. but i hope you guys have a wonderful super bowl party. all right? thank you guys. >> are you still in a good mood? clearly president obama is feeling pretty good. he was supposed to make a statement about the economy and ended up taking a couple of questions, which he can be long winded. but we got a lot of information out of that. he is taughting the stronger side of a really mixed jobs report. mike viqueira is in washington, d.c. with more on this. and he also seemed to be speaking to republicans out there, as well, mike. do you want to take it away? >> reporter: you are absolutely
right. and the president has made no secret of the fact that he has been very irritated about how did he put it the boom and despair trail that plays out among the republicans. and that they are talking down the american economy. for the president the trend is your friend. at this time in his first term, the unemployment rate was still skyrocketing, until it ended up in 10% in double digits. down now to 4.8%. and as you reported, richelle, the results are mixed in that, while 150 to 160,000 jobs were created last month, it is still below the level -- the economy had been going gang busters in terms of job creation at the end of last year, so i guess in economics as in politics, everything is relative.
but you have a buoyant president obama who wants to hit back at those republicans who are talking down the economy. and he wants to boost the democratic prospects. he wants to see his programs, many of the executive orders that have been so controversial, the affordable care act, which republicans have made it clear if there is a republican that will be blit rated. he wants to make sure if of his signature achievements are preserved, and the only way to do that is to have a democratic successor. so he is also boosting those political prospects as we head into new hampshire next tuesday richelle. >> and he also spoke of his budget he is going to present on tuesday as well. >> the budget as become such an empty ritual, richelle.
the old phrase used to be dead on arrival on capitol hill. the budget to the extent it is ever enacted by congress, there was a two-year budget in place, the result of that agreement last fall, as they headed once more towards a collision on the budget and raising debt, they put that all off to past the election. >> all right. mike, you always keep it real, and i appreciate that. don't go anywhere, because we need you to keep, keeping it real. >> all right. >> let's bring in patricia sabga who also keeps it real for us lay people. there are a lot of great things about this jobs report. but it really is a mixed bag. what do you think is the best part of this jobs report?
>> undeniably the best part is average hourly wages. they went up $0.12. year-over-year, that's about a 2.5% increase. and that is a healthy bump. it's not the 3, 3.5% that would really make a big difference in people's lives, but at least we're getting some wage pressure there. another positive were manufacturing jobs. manufacturing has really been in the doldrums because the u.s. dollar is so strong. it has made u.s. goods more expensive to buy overseas. but last month the economy created 29,000 manufacturing jobs. that's another big positive. the other big positive is not only that the unemployment rate went down, but it ticked down for the right reasons, because the number of people in a job or actively looking for one, that actually ticked up slightly, and the president was --
>> yeah, a reporter asked him about it. and he was like let me make sure you understand that part of the report. >> exactly. of course what the president reads as a positive and what main street reads as positives -- wall street doesn't always see as a positive, and of course the markets were down today on this report. >> and he was point blank asked, there are a lot of people who are still not feeling this. this is still not their every day lives. we are still announcing thousands of job cuts every day, patty. he specifically said there is still softness in the global economy. there is still softness in this economy as well, yes? >> yes, but a lot of this has to do with the global economy. mining for example. mining encompasses the shale oil industry. we lost 7,000 jobs in mining last month, because the price of oil is so low, that it's very
uncompetitive for relatively expensive shale oil producers to pro and -- produce and explore. you have so many oil producers from saudi arabia, to russia, just pumping constantly into this market. it's a mere supply and demand issue. and there are also fears about china, and the china effect, because china is the second biggest economy in the world, and that engine is slowing down, and the fear is, is that going to lesson china's demand. we may not sell a lot to china, but there's a lot of countries that export commodities, you know, china. as china's appetite for those raw materials ebbs, that has hurt those countries, and that has come back to hurt us. >> okay. let's bring in a little bit of
what he had to say earlier, in case our viewers missed it. >> the united states of america right now has the strongest most durable economy in the world. i know that's still inconvenient for republican stump speeches as their boom and despair tour plays in new hampshire. i guess you cannot please everybody. that does not mean that we don't have more work to do. there is softness in this the global economy. china is going through a transition. europe's economy is still slow. a lot of the emerging markets are challenged. so that's all creating headwinds for a lot of u.s. companies who do business overseas, so we have got to pay attention to this and take some smart steps this year to continue progress. >> mike, as you listen to that, what was the president really trying to do there? was he trying to say, yes, we
made some progress. i know people are still hurting, hang in there with me. because quite frankly that is a tactic republicans can campaign on. >> the overall message once of buoyancy and resiliency. politics obviously the big sub text of what is going on. the unemployment rate is down, deficits are down, gas prizes are down, look, everybody you should be happy. and then the first question from the first reporter, why are people still so pessimistic. and the president essentially saying, look, the perceptions about the economy are a lagging cater, particularly when you consider the drama that people went through in '07 and '08 when their housing values wenting down, when people lost jobs. when people had to go get
retrained for other jobs. so it may be a mixed bag, but the president certainly accentuating the positive here at the white house. >> all right. again, a mixed jobs report, but certainly a lot of positive things to pull out of it. and as a result, the stock market continues to be a bit confused, those numbers are down. we'll more on that later. thank you so much for joining us. i'm richelle carey the news continues next live from london. keep it here on al jazeera throughout the day. ♪
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