Obama says U.S. economy fighting headwinds

U.S. President Barack Obama (R) speaks about monthly employment numbers and the Recovery Act as Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner looks on at the Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington July 2, 2010. REUTERS/Larry Downing

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama said on Friday the U.S. economy was moving in the right direction but continued to fight headwinds from volatile global markets.

“Make no mistake, we are headed in the right direction,” Obama told reporters after release of the June employment report. “We’re not headed there fast enough for a lot of Americans.”

The report showed U.S. private payrolls rose less than expected last month and overall employment fell for the first time this year as thousands of temporary jobs ended.

“We continue to fight headwinds from volatile global markets, so we still have a great deal of work to do to repair the economy and get the American people back to work,” Obama said.

White House economic adviser Christina Romer said in a statement that the employment report showed continued signs of gradual labor market recovery.

“These continued signs of healing are important, particularly given the recent volatility in world markets and the mixed behavior of other recent economic indicators,” she said.

Reporting by Jeff Mason; editing by Paul Simao