Employment numbers released by the Labor Department Friday show the economy added 163,000 new jobs in July, the best hiring pace in five months.
At the same time, however, unemployment rose slightly to 8.3 percent as more people looked for work.
But speaking at the White House today, President Obama put a positive spin on the July jobs data.
"That means that we've now created 4.5 million new jobs over the last 29 months and 1.1 million new jobs so far this year," he said. "Those are our neighbors and family members finding work and the security that comes with work."
The report was also well-received by investors. The Dow Jones industrial average added 247 points to 13,126, while Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 28 points to 1,393.
GOP presidential rival Mitt Romney had a different take on Friday's report, calling the jobless rate "a hammer blow to struggling middle-class families."
"A lot of people are suffering in this country," he continued. "I think it's an extraordinary failure of policy, a failure of leadership, and I think it's a moral failure for a country as successful and prosperous as our own to go now four years in a mode which feels to many people as a recession."
Later, the president shifted from the issue of jobs to taxes, renewing his call for Congress to extend tax cuts only for families making less than $250,000 a year before they expire at the end of the year.
"The last thing that we should be doing is asking middle-class families who are still struggling to recover from this recession to pay more in taxes," he said. "Rebuilding a strong economy begins with rebuilding our middle class."