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The White House
For Immediate Release

Weekly Address: Progress Continues in America

In this week’s address, Betsaida Alcantara, Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, discussed the economic gains we made in 2014, which was the strongest year for job growth since the 1990s.  In the coming weeks, the President will continue to preview his State of the Union Address and the agenda he’ll put forward to build on that progress. The President will showcase ways he’s working to help every American get ahead in the new year, like plans he announced this week to make community college free for two years, make mortgages more affordable and accessible for creditworthy families, and support manufacturing.

The audio of the address and video of the message will be available online HERE.

Remarks of Betsaida Alcantara
Spanish Weekly Address
The White House
January 10, 2015

Hi, everybody, I am Betsaida Alcantara, the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs.  About a year ago, the President promised that 2014 would be a breakthrough year for America.  And this week, we got more evidence to back that up.

In December, our businesses created 240,000 new jobs. The unemployment rate fell to 5.6% and amongst Hispanics, it fell 6.5%.  That means that 2014 was the strongest year for job growth since the 1990s.  In 2014, unemployment fell faster than it has in three decades and Hispanic unemployment continues to drop.

Over a 58-month streak, our businesses have created 11.2 million new jobs. After a decade of decline, American manufacturing is in its best stretch of job growth since the ‘90s. America is now the world’s number one producer of oil and gas, helping to save drivers about a buck-ten a gallon at the pump over this time last year.  Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, about 10 million Americans gained health insurance in the past year alone.  We have cut our deficits by about two-thirds.  And we are making it easier to own a home. This week, the President announced a major new step that his Administration is taking to make mortgages more affordable and accessible for creditworthy families. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will reduce annual mortgage insurance premiums from 1.35 percent to 0.85 percent. For the typical first-time homebuyer, this reduction will translate into a $900 reduction in their annual mortgage payment. This is a big deal for the Latino community, as more the 60% of first time homebuyers who are Hispanic use an FHA insured loan.  

It has been six years since the crisis.  Those years have demanded hard work and sacrifice on everybody’s part.  So as a country, we have every right to be proud of what we’ve got to show for it.  America’s resurgence is real.  And now that we’ve got some calm waters, if we all do our part, if we all pitch in, we can make sure that tide starts lifting all boats again.  We can make sure that the middle class is the engine that powers America’s prosperity for decades to come.  

That’ll be the focus of the President’s State of the Union Address in a couple weeks – building on the progress we’ve made. 

Making homeownership easier. Reducing annual FHA mortgage insurance premiums. Bringing a higher education within reach. Proposing two years of tuition-free community college for responsible students. Creating more good jobs that pay good wages.  These are just some of the ways we can help every American get ahead in the new economy.  And there’s more to come. Because America is coming back.  So let’s go full speed ahead.  Thanks, everybody, and have a great weekend.