President Barack Obama said new figures released Friday showing national unemployment has hit the double-digit mark are a sobering reminder of the challenges still facing the U.S. economy.
Standing in the White House Rose Garden a few hours after the government reported that the jobless rate hit 10.2 percent last month, Obama said his administration is working hard to restore the struggling economy.
"I will not rest until all Americans who want work can,"he said.
The jobless rate is the highest since 1983. Economists believe more jobs will be lost, and the unemployment rate could possibly reach 10.5 percent next year because employers remain reluctant to hire.
Obama signed a $24 billion economic stimulus bill Friday providing tax incentives to prospective homebuyers and extending unemployment benefits for another 20 weeks for Americans who are out of work. The president said the unemployment benefits not only put money in the pockets of the unemployed, but also stimulate the economy when its spent.
Obama said his economic team is evaluating other options to create jobs and get the economy moving.
"I promise I won't rest until America is prosperous once again," he said.