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President Obama Speaks with the Business Roundtable

President Obama speaks with Business Roundtable, a group of CEOs of some of the country's leading companies, at an event in Washington, D.C.
President Obama Speaks at Business Roundtable in Washington, DC (2014)

President Barack Obama delivers remarks and participates in a Q&A during the quarterly meeting of the Business Roundtable at the Business Roundtable Headquarters in Washington, D.C., Dec. 3, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Earlier today, President Obama spoke with Business Roundtable, a group of CEOs of some of the country's leading companies, at an event in Washington, D.C.

The President discussed where our economy and our country stand, as well as the challenges and opportunities ahead:

Around this time six years ago, America’s businesses were shedding about 800,000 jobs per month. Today, our businesses, including some of the most important businesses in the world that are represented here today, have created over 10.6 million new jobs; 56 months of uninterrupted job growth, which is the longest private sector job growth in our history. We just saw the best six-month period of economic growth in over a decade. For the first time in six years, the unemployment rate is under 6 percent.

All told, the United States of America, over the last six years, has put more people back to work than Europe, Japan, and the rest of the advanced world combined. And that's a record for us to build on.

President Obama addressed the progress still to come, identifying common-sense things we should be doing but aren't, largely because of politics or ideological gridlock — issues including infrastructure investment, tax reform, trade, and immigration reform. "I've already spoken to Speaker Boehner and Senator Mitch McConnell, and what I've said to them is that I am prepared to work with them on areas where we agree, recognizing there are going to be some areas where we just don't agree," he said.

Before taking questions, the President also identified an area of deep concern to him domestically: "Although corporate profits are at the highest levels in 60 years, the stock market is up 150 percent, wages and incomes still haven’t gone up significantly, and certainly have not picked up the way they did in earlier generations."