In Warren, Michigan:
Now, since this recession began 20 months ago, 6.5 million Americans have lost their jobs, and I don't have to tell you Michigan in particular has been hard-hit. Now, I -- the statistics are daunting. The whole country now, the unemployment rate is approaching 10 percent. Here in Michigan, it's about five points higher. And new jobs of course are going to be coming out and we're going to see continuing job loss even as the economy is beginning to stabilize.
Now, that's not just abstractions. Those just aren't numbers on a page. Those are extraordinary hardships, tough times, for families and individuals who've worked hard all their lives and have done the right things all their lives. If you haven't lost a job, chances are you know somebody who has: a family member, a neighbor, a friend, a coworker. And you know that as difficult as the financial struggle can be, the sense of loss is about more than just a paycheck, because most of us define ourselves by the work we do. That's part of what it means to be an American. We take pride in work -- that sense that you're contributing, supporting your family, meeting your responsibilities. People need work not just for income, but because it makes you part of that fabric of a community that's so important. And so when you lose your job, and when entire communities are losing thousands of jobs, that's a heavy burden, that's a heavy weight.
Now, my administration has a job to do, as well, and that job is to get this economy back on its feet. That's my job. And it's a job I gladly accept. I love these folks who helped get us in this mess and then suddenly say, well, this is Obama's economy. That's fine. Give it to me. My job is to solve problems, not to stand on the sidelines and harp and gripe.