Obama's 'non-political' Christmas wish: Lower unemployment rate in 2011

President Obama said the top item on his wish list this Christmas a lower jobless rate next year.

Obama said that it's his big hope to finally see enough jobs created in 2011 for the unemployment rate to creep down from the 9.8 percent marker in November, around which joblessness has hovered this past year.

"You know what I do hope is — and I know you said on a non-political note — but what I’d really like to do is to be able to watch this economy improve next year so that we can start driving this unemployment rate down," Obama said on the Tom Joyner radio show on Friday, when asked about what he wants for Christmas.

The administration has been plagued by persistently high unemployment numbers over the past year. The unemployment rate reached a low of 9.5 percent in July of this year, but has crept back up since then. The disappointing progress on jobs was exacerbated by anemic job creation in November; the economy added only 39,000 jobs last month.

"That’s the cloud that hovers over so much of what’s going on right on," Obama said. "If people are working, if they can support their families, then everybody’s mood brightens, businesses are doing better."

Job creation isn't just a matter of "goodwill toward men" for the president, either.

Obama blamed the poor employment situation for his party's drubbing in this past fall's elections. The White House is hoping for serious job creation over the next two years to bolster its agenda as the president goes into 2012.

Obama acknowledged that anxiety over the economic situation was coloring a great deal of the current political debates wracking Washington.

"I think a lot of the political arguments that are taking place right now are against the backdrop of people being worried about the economy," he said. "If we can just get people back to work, then I’m confident that we’ll be fine and a lot of these other issues we can resolve."

On a less serious note, Obama said he wished for some winter wear for Christmas, citing the cold weather that's enveloped Washington, D.C., in recent weeks.

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