Obama says U.S. economy 'still hurting'

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U.S. President Barack Obama said Monday that the economy is still hurting millions of Americans even though the recession has been officially declared over.

"The hole was so deep that a lot of people out there are still hurting," Obama addressed a town-hall-style meeting telecast live on CNBC before heading to Pennsylvania to raise money for a Democratic Senate candidate.

He spoke shortly after the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), a panel of academic economists' announcement on Monday that the U.S. recession started in December 2007 officially ended in June 2009.

"Even though economists may say that the recession officially ended last year, obviously for the millions of people who are still out of work, people who have seen their home values decline, people who are struggling to pay the bills day to day, it's still very real for them." Obama said.

U.S. unemployment, currently at 9.6 percent, is projected not possible to fall significantly in the short future. About 8 million Americans remain out of work now.

Obama repeated that the current economic difficulty is the result of the previous administration and he asked the American people for more patience.

"Something that took ten years to create is going to take a little more time to solve," Obama said.

In responding to the critics that the country's economic situation is on the wrong track, Obama said that everything is not "where it needs to be," but that the nation is "moving in the right direction."

As for criticism that his policies are anti-business, Obama said they've helped businesses be profitable, and stabilized financial markets.

When asked if he had any plans to replace his two top economic advisers -- Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and chief economic adviser Lawrence Summers, Obama said that he had not made any determinations about changing personnel on his team.

Republicans criticized that the Obama administration's economic policy failed, at least in terms of unemployment rate. They called for Obama to fire both of his top economic advisers.

Obama said, "This is tough work that they do."

He said that "the most important thing we can do right now is grow our economy."

The U.S. economy grew at 1.6 percent in the second quarter, a much slower pace that the previous quarter, which recorded at 3.7 percent.

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