At the Hall’s request, I contributed something of my own, which was the jacket I wore when I threw out the first pitch at the 2009 All-Star Game. I hear that with all the media attention about it, there was also some interest in the jeans I wore that night. (Laughter.) But Michelle retired those jeans quite a while back. (Laughter.)
So I love baseball; America loves baseball. It continues to be our national pastime. And for any baseball fan out there, you’ve got to make a trip here. But as much as I'd love to talk baseball all day -- and with a Chicago legend, Andre Dawson, the “Hawk,” here today, it’s hard not to want to talk baseball all day long -- I’m actually here to talk about jobs -- good, middle-class jobs. And believe it or not, places like this institution, the Hall of Fame, have something to do with jobs and economic growth.
It’s been about five and a half years since the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes hit. And thanks to the grit and determination of the American people, we’ve been steadily fighting our way back. Over the last four years, our businesses have created 9.2 million new jobs. We had an auto industry that was flat-lining; it's come roaring back. A manufacturing sector that had lost about one-third of its jobs in the last decade is now adding jobs for the first time since the 1990s. And rather than create jobs in other countries, more and more companies are recognizing that it makes sense to invest right here in America. We've got great workers. We've got the largest market in the world. We've got a whole bunch of stuff going for us and we're starting to see insourcing rather than outsourcing of jobs.