White House fights grim jobs report

The White House says the economic recovery is on the right track despite Wall Street's threat to downgrade the government's credit rating and a bleak jobs report released on Thursday that shows hiring is slowing.

“We're back on the right track,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said aboard Air Force One on Friday. “Our trajectory is moving in the right direction and we're confident about that.”

Employers added 54,000 jobs to the rolls in May – down from 232,000 in April – and the unemployment rate rose from 9 percent to 9.1 percent, according to the Labor Department.

“There are a lot of economic indicators out there,” Earnest said, downplaying the importance of the monthly report. “What we are looking at is not just the one-month numbers… this is a long term recovery.”

Moody's also threatened to downgrade the government's credit rating on Thursday, as the U.S. inches closer to potentially defaulting on its debt on Aug. 2 unless Congress raises the borrowing limit.

“The Moody's report underscores the importance of making progress,” Earnest said. 

He referred to the grim economic indicators as “bumps in the road” and said the president is considering additional tax cuts for small businesses and the elimination of some regulatory burdens to help the recovery keep chugging along. 

“Even elementary math indicates that our economic picture is significantly better than when this president took office,” Earnest said. 

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