President Barack Obama trumpeted new construction jobs created by federal stimulus law Friday, while acknowledging the grinding toll the slow-to-rebound economy is taking on people.
"I'm under no illusion we are where we need to be yet," Obama said. The occasion was a groundbreaking for the 10,000th road project paid for by stimulus money, situated in Columbus, Ohio, an event that gave the president an occasion to leave Washington and tout progress on jobs.
Flanked by workers in hard hats and yellow safety vests, Obama pointed to increasing signs of economic vitality, including some evidence that businesses are starting to hire again. But he said that's not enough.
"For these folks, the only jobs we create that matter are the ones that provide for their families. So while the recovery may start with projects like this, it can't end here," the president said.
Obama's brief comments offered no new initiatives or any significant changes in the overall message of hope. The event amounted to a picture-taking opportunity — framed by men in hardhats and wearing bright construction-style shirts — and a chance for him to roll up his sleeves and get into a community to witness life firsthand outside the Washington Beltway.