While he called today's news an "important milestone on our road to recovery" his trip to this week to the Midwest showed the damaged incurred by the nation's most protracted recession.
The good news "doesn't mean much to an American who has lost his or her job and can't find another," he said.
Cutting taxes to small businesses, pushing for more lending and targeting investment in the economy on initiatives such as clean energy will help creates jobs, Obama said.
"Government can't replace every job that has been lost. That's not government's role," he said. "It is America's business all across the country -- the private sector -- businesses that have always been and will always be the engines of our job creation."