Washington (CNN) – Republican leaders were quick to criticize President Barack Obama over the January jobs report.
"The American people continue to ask 'where are the jobs?' and the president clearly has no answers. Republicans do," said House Speaker John Boehner in a statement released a few minutes after the Labor Department announced the January jobs figures.
According to the report, 113,000 Jobs were added in January. That's much less than the 178,000 jobs expected by economists surveyed by CNNMoney.com. But the overall unemployment level edged down from 6.7% in December to 6.6% last month. The unemployment rate has improved substantially since it peaked at 10% in 2009.
But much of the decline in unemployment level has come for a discouraging reason: some Americans are dropping out of the labor force. As of January, only 63% of Americans over age 16 participated in the labor market - meaning they either had a job or looked for one. This matches the lowest level since 1978.
"Today's jobs report underscores that there remains a real crisis for the chronically unemployed in this country. It's too hard for many to find good jobs, wages are stagnant, and it's harder to get ahead," said House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.
The Republican National Committee used the new jobs report to once again criticize Obamacare.
"America needs a larger, stronger, fully employed workforce, but there's one thing standing in the way. It's ObamaCare, and we can't afford it any longer," said RNC chairman Reince Priebus.
The White House defended their policies but said more action is needed.
"Today's report is another reminder of both the progress that has been made and the challenges that remain. Businesses have now added 8.5 million jobs over the last 47 months and the unemployment rate ticked down to its lowest level in more than five years. But the economy is still healing from the Great Recession and steps are still needed to expand economic opportunity," said Jason Furman, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, in a statement put out by the White House.
CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.