"[T]his is something that I ask every single one of my economic advisers every single day," Obama said when asked about jobs during an interview that airs Sunday on CNN's State of the Union. "Because I know that ultimately the measure of an economy is, is it producing jobs that help people support families, send their kids to college? That's the single most important thing we can do."
While the president said there was evidence the financial markets were beginning to function properly again and that the manufacturing sector is beginning to pick up, he refused to say definitively that the recession which began last year was over.
And Obama even suggested that the national unemployment rate, which is hovering at just under 10 percent, could climb higher in the near future.
"I want to be clear, that probably the jobs picture is not going to improve considerably - and it could even get a little bit worse - over the next couple of months," the president told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King, "And we're probably not going to start seeing enough job creation to deal with the - a rising population until some time next year."
Obama added that he thought the economy would be creating jobs throughout the end of 2009 - but not enough to keep pace with population growth and to make up for steep losses in employment that occurred earlier this year.
"I think we'll be adding jobs, but you need 150,000 additional jobs each month just to keep pace with a growing population. So if we're only adding 50,000 jobs, that's a great reversal from losing 700,000 jobs [a month] early this year - but, you know, it means that we've still got a ways to go."