TOLEDO, Ohio -- President Barack Obama said Friday that the economy faces challenges ahead and "bumps on the road to recovery." But at an event to celebrate the resurgence of the auto industry he made no mention of a dismal new jobs report that threatened to obscure his optimistic message.
Obama's visit to a Chrysler plant in politically important Ohio came after the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that employers in May added the fewest jobs in eight months - a meager 54,000 - and the unemployment rate inched up to 9.1 percent.
Normally Obama talks about the monthly jobs numbers the day they're released, but he never mentioned them directly Friday. He focused instead on the turnaround in the auto industry and how the government has recouped much more money than anticipated from the capital it sunk into Chrysler and General Motors two years ago to save them from collapse.
Recently GM, Chrysler and Ford have been reporting significant increases in sales, although the industry this week reported a falloff in May.
"This industry is back on its feet, repaying its debts, gaining ground," Obama told Chrysler workers. "Because of you we can once again say the best cars in the world are built right here in the U.S. of A."