Vice President Joe Biden said Saturday the U.S. economy is "recovering and it's gaining traction."
With President Barack Obama in Europe for meetings with other world leaders, Biden delivered the weekly Oval Office radio and Internet address. The vice president noted Chrysler Corp. had repaid federal loans with interest six years ahead of schedule, and a General Motors Corp. Detroit Hamtramck factory began operating three shifts this week for the first time since operations began 26 years ago.
"Not only is our economy overall growing, but one of the important sectors of our economy is on the rise again: the American automobile industry," Biden said.
The vice president credited Obama administration policies for reviving the auto industry, even though "many people thought the president should just let GM and Chrysler go under."
"And because of what we did, the auto industry is rising again," Biden said. "Manufacturing is coming back. And our economy is recovering and it's gaining traction."
However, the vice president conceded for many U.S. workers, wages "aren't keeping pace with prices of everything from gas to groceries to healthcare and college tuition."
"That's why the president and I remain focused on, not just recovering from this recession," he said. "We're focused on making sure that if you work hard, play by the rules, you'll be able to get ahead, put your kids through college, retire with dignity and security."
Biden also asked Americans to "reach out" to the families of U.S. military personnel.
"Let them know you know the sacrifice they're making," he said.