President Barack Obama said on Friday the latest U.S. unemployment figures showed the worst may be over in the economic crisis but acknowledged there was more work to be done to put the economy back on track.

This morning we receive additional signs that the worst may be behind us, Obama said in an appearance in the White House Rose Garden after a government report that the U.S. jobless rate in July fell for the first time in 15 months.

Obama sought to cast in the best possible light the latest economic data despite economists view that economy has a long way to go to recover from one of the worst recessions since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Obama's speech came at the end of a week in which a Quinnipiac University poll showed his job approval rating had dropped to 50 percent as Americans express doubt about his handling of the U.S. economy and healthcare.

I'm convinced that we can see a light at the end of the tunnel, Obama declared, saying his policies had helped unfreeze credit and a rising market was restoring value to battered 401K savings plans.

We've pulled the economy back from the brink, he said.

But he added, We have a lot further to go. We will not have a true recovery while we are still losing jobs.

Employers shed 247,000 jobs in July, the Labor Department said on Friday, the least in any one month since last August, taking the unemployment rate to 9.4 percent, down from 9.5 percent in June.