WASHINGTON, Nov. 5 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama hailed October job-creation figures Friday but said they still are "not good enough."
Shortly before leaving the White House for a 10-day trip to Asia, Obama said he is willing to listen to any idea that will help create jobs and bring down the unemployment rate.
The Labor Department reported October had 159,000 private-sector jobs created -- more than double what economists had expected -- but the unemployment rate remained at 9.6 percent, the 15th consecutive reporting period the rate was 9.5 percent or higher.
"Based on today's jobs report, we've now seen private-sector job growth for 10 straight months. That means that since January the private sector has added 1.1 million jobs," Obama said.
"Now, that's not good enough. The unemployment rate is still unacceptably high and we've got a lot of work to do. This recession caused a great deal of hardship and it put millions of people out of work. So in order to repair this damage, in order to create the jobs to meet the large need, we need to accelerate our economic growth so that we are producing jobs at a faster pace.
"Because the fact is an encouraging jobs report doesn't make a difference if you're still one of the millions of people who are looking for work."
Obama said his trip to Asia would help stimulate job growth.
"It's also absolutely clear that one of the keys to creating jobs is to open markets to American goods made by American workers," he said. "Our prosperity depends not just on consuming things, but also on being the maker of things. In fact, for every $1 billion we increase in exports thousands of jobs are supported here at home."
Obama and first lady Michelle Obama, along with aides Valerie Jarrett and Tom Donilon, boarded Air Force One shortly after 10 a.m. for the first leg of the trip. The plane was set to land at Ramstein, Germany, Friday night, en route to Mumbai. Besides India, Obama will visit Indonesia, South Korea and Japan.