President Barack Obama says the new jobs report "is actually better than expected."
A jobs report released Friday said the unemployment rate held at 9.7 percent last month as employers shed 36,000 jobs. Obama blamed snowstorms that buried the East Coast.
Even so, the president said the number of unemployed Americans is "more than we should tolerate" and pushed Congress to pass a jobs bill for immediate relief.
Obama was touring a Washington-area energy company and said too many families are still struggling. He urged lawmakers to expand unemployment benefits and temporary health insurance through the end of the year.
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