Obama Doesn’t Fear Double-Dip Recession in Face of Rising Unemployment Rate

By Fred Lucas | June 7, 2011 | 5:06 PM EDT

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama walk out to welcome German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her husband Joachim Sauer at the North Portico of the White House as they arrive for the State Dinner in Washington, Tuesday, June 7, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Washington (CNSNews.com) – President Barack Obama said he is not worried about a double-dip recession, and he believes the economy is recovering, despite the weak jobs report release on Friday, showing unemployment reached 9.1 percent.

“I’m not concerned about a double-dip recession. I am concerned about the fact that the recovery that we’re on is not producing jobs as quickly as I want it to happen,” Obama told reporters during a news conference Tuesday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Obama pointed out that job growth had been moving in the right direct before May, and “We don’t yet know whether this is a one-month episode or a longer trend.”

“Obviously we’re experiencing some headwinds, gas prices probably being most prominent,” Obama said. “It has an enormous impact on family budgets and on the psychology of consumers.  And so we are taking a range of steps to make sure that we’ve got an energy policy that can bring some stability to world oil prices.”

Critics of the administration point to the moratorium that inhibited domestic drilling in the Gulf of Mexico after the BP oil spill for pushing gas prices higher.

Further, Republican lawmakers believe Obama’s policy to escape a recession through government spending have slowed a recovery.

“The massive surge in federal spending has failed. Instead of creating jobs it destroyed them. Instead of strengthening our infrastructure it robbed us of resources,” said Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee.

“Instead of expanding prosperity it has burdened us with hundreds of billions of dollars in rising interest payments. The record from the last two and a half years is clear,” Sessions continued in a statement Friday after the jobs report was issued. “Unemployment is up. Gas prices are up. Health care costs are up. The housing market is falling again. Our credit rating is in jeopardy.

“Even meager growth rates are slumping as some warn of another double-dip recession. And the country is heading for ‘the most predictable economic crisis in its history’ if Washington’s Democrat majority retains its fierce opposition to working on an effective budget and imposing fiscal discipline,” Sessions added.

The number of jobs in May increased by 54,000, but some forecasters reportedly expected a six-figure increase.

When Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in February 2009, unemployment was below eight percent.

Obama vowed to plug forward.

“We’ve still got some enormous work to do and as long as there are some folks out there who are unemployed, looking for work, then every morning when I wake up, I’m going to be thinking about how we can get them back to work,” Obama said.

“Some of the steps that we took during the lame duck session, the payroll tax, the extension of unemployment insurance, the investment in – or the tax breaks for business investment in plants and equipment – all those things have helped,” he added.