NRF questioned some of Obama's proposals but welcomed his overall theme of boosting the economy. "We have repeatedly called on Congress and President Obama to make the economy and job creation their top priority, so we are very pleased to see these goals emphasized by the president," National Retail Federation President and CEO Matthew Shay said after the speech. "There are many issues on the national agenda, but with our economy still struggling to recover, the most pressing need for the millions of Americans who remain out of work is a job."
Obama said the economy has added six million jobs since the recession, but "there are millions of Americans whose hard work and dedication have not yet been rewarded," and offered initiatives in manufacturing, energy, infrastructure and housing he said would help improve employment numbers.
"Our economy is adding jobs, but too many people still can't find full-time employment," Obama said. "A growing economy that creates good, middle-class jobs - that must be the North Star that guides our efforts."
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