President Barack Obama talks about the economy
President Barack Obama talks about the economy, Friday, June 8, 2012, in the briefing room of the White House in Washington. (Credit: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
UPDATED 12:05 p.m. ET

(CBS News) President Obama urged Congress to take steps to boost the economy and called on Republican lawmakers to explain why they are not taking action if they don't.

"Right now people in this town should be focused on doing everything we can to keep our recovery going and keeping our country strong," Mr. Obama said one week after the Labor Department said the unemployment rate rose a tick in May to 8.2 percent. That is the first upward tick since June 2011.

The U.S. unemployment rate has been over 8 percent since February 2009, the longest stretch since government records began in 1948, though it has been on a downward trend since it peaked at 10.0 percent in October 2009.

The U.S. economy is facing additional headwinds from Europe which is facing the prospect of a double-dip recession as a financial crisis continues there.

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