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Obama calls for more measures to help small businesses

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama said that government job figures released Friday show the economy heading in the right direction and called for more measures to help businesses grow.

Obama said that while seven months of growth in private sector employment is a positive sign, the U.S. economy has a long way to go to rebound. He made a plea for congressional action on his proposal to provide more loans and tax incentives to small businesses.

"Climbing out of any recession, much less a hole as deep as this one, takes some time," Obama said after a visit to Gelberg Signs, a Washington, D.C., commercial sign fabricator that added workers under a law the president signed in March that provides small businesses with a tax break for hiring the unemployed.

Obama blamed Senate Republicans for "standing in the way" of passing the small-business bill, and said lawmakers must "rise above the election-time game and come together" to boost the recovery.

"We need to do what's right, not what's political, and we need to do it right now," Obama said.

Private companies added 71,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department said Friday. But the unemployment rate remained at 9.5 percent.- Bloomberg News

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