Washington (CNN)– President Obama said Saturday despite a promising job report from the Labor Department, more work needs to be done to strengthen the economy and get the nation's unemployed back to work.
"Yesterday, the numbers released by the Labor Department reflected a continuing positive trend of diminishing job loss," Obama said in his weekly radio and Web address. "But for those who were laid off last month and the millions of Americans who have lost their jobs in this recession, a good trend isn't good enough."
Friday's Labor Department report showed the nation's unemployment rate dropped to 10 percent in November. The jobless level stood at 10.2 percent in October, the highest rate in more than a quarter century. The Labor Department also reported that employers cut 11,000 jobs last month, compared to an average of 135,000 jobs lost in each of the previous three months.
Obama said in order to prevent a future crisis he will work on programs that "will strengthen our economy in the long-run," by keeping the focus on job creation, health care reform, education, and clean energy.
"From the moment I was sworn into office, we have taken a number of difficult steps to end this economic crisis," Obama said. "We didn't take them because they were popular or gratifying. They weren't. We took these steps because they were necessary."
–CNN's Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.
Washington (CNN) - Defense Secretary Robert Gates signed an order Friday to deploy the first wave of troops to Afghanistan as part of President Barack Obama's new strategy, a defense official confirmed to CNN.
The troops from the Army and Marines will be the first of 30,000 that are to be sent to Afghanistan by summer under the plan announced by Obama this week.
An official announcement is not likely before Monday, the officials said.
Approximately 1,000 Marines are expected to deploy this month, military officials told CNN previously. The Army may not deploy the first soldiers until at least March, Army officials said Friday.
Testifying before a congressional committee, Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said this week that a "significant" number of troops will arrive in the spring and summer, with the final troops moving to Afghanistan by late summer or early fall.
Meanwhile, the White House said Obama would meet with Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, and Karl Eikenberry, the U.S. ambassador in Kabul, on Monday. Both are expected to testify before Congress next week.
- CNN's Mike Mount contributed to this report