President Obam urged patience with the economic recovery amid reports showing sharp declines in new hires, and he promised better days ahead.
"Just like... if you got hit by a truck, it's going to take a while for you to mend and that's whats happening to our economy. It's taking a while to mend," the president told a group of Chrysler workers at a manufacturing plant in Toledo. "There are always going to be bumps onthe road to recovery."
Obama made the comments following the release of a new jobs report showing employers added 54,000 jobs to the rolls in May – down from 232,000 in April. The unemployment rate rose from 9 percent to 9.1 percent in the month of May, according to the Labor Department.
Obama did not directly address the reports.
He argued that he saved the auto industry -- as well as hundreds of thousands of American jobs -- by investing in Chrysler and other auto makers when the companies were on the verge of liquidation.
"This industry's back on its feet, repaying debts, gaining ground," he said, adding that the plant's workers are "showing the world that American manufacturing, American industry is back."
Obama then led into his stump speech on government spending, arguing that budgetary belt-tightening must be accompanied by investments in education, infrastructure and clean energy in order for America to "win the future."
He said he is acutely focused on helping blue-collar workers weather the recession and he asked for their support in reelecting him in 2012.
"I tell you what, I'm gonna keep on betting on you and as long as I continue to have the privelege of being the president of the United States, I'm going to keep fighting alongside you for a future that is brighter for this community, for Toledo, for Ohio, for America."