Obama hails strong jobs report

The White House on Friday hailed the strong November jobs numbers as a sign that more robust economic growth has taken root.

President Obama touted the 321,000 jobs added in November as coming amid the labor market’s fastest expansion since the 1990s, with the private sector leading the way — creating nearly 11 million jobs over 57 straight months.

“The pickup in the pace of job growth this year has been in industries with higher wages, and overall wages are rising, a very welcome sign for millions of Americans,” Obama said Friday.

“So we’ve got an opportunity to keep up this progress if Congress is willing to keep our government open, avoid self-inflicted wounds and work together to invest in the things that support faster job growth in high-paying jobs,” he said.

He cited exports, infrastructure, streamlining the tax code, immigration reform and giving minimum-wage workers a raise as ways to keep the economy chugging along.

“It has been a long road to recovery from the worst economic crisis in generations, and we still have a lot more work to do to,” the president said.

“But it’s worth us, every once in awhile, reflecting on that the fact that the American economy is making real progress.”

He vowed to continue seeking ways to bolster the expansion.

“We’re going to keep at it until every single American who is willing and able to work can find not just any job but a job that pays a decent wage and allows them to support their families,” he said.

Jason FurmanJason FurmanTrump looks for longer boost from economy US economy grew at 3.2 percent in first quarter, exceeding expectations The Hill's Morning Report - Dems contemplate big election and court reforms MORE, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, cracked a smile and was upbeat about the November figures that showed 321,000 jobs were added last month.

“It’s hard not to get excited when you see a number like this,” Furman said on MSNBC.

Furman said greater fiscal stability and less brinkmanship between the White House and Capitol Hill has helped boost the labor market and the overall economy.

“That put our economy in the position to do what the private sector really does in America, and that is drive our economy forward," he said.

The 2.65 million jobs created this year is more in 11 months than in any entire year since 1999.

Still, Furman said that while the jobs figures tend to fluctuate, the U.S. economy is on much firmer footing.

“I have to remind myself that they bounce around from month to month but you just look at the last year, in only 11 months we’ve racked up more jobs than any full year since 1999,” he said.

“So this is an economy that really is strengthening.”

Furman said that gains in wages and hours and falling long-term unemployment are “all the things we want to see.”

He also said that falling gas prices is putting more money into household pocketbooks, and he likened the trend to a tax cut for Americans.

“It will help add to our economic growth and ease some of the pressure that families are under,” he said.

Prices at the pump have dropped to below $3 a gallon on average nationwide and even lower in some spots.