To illustrate his message of commiseration, he suggested that joblessness hits close to home. He told a community college audience in Schnecksville, Pennsylvania, "Michelle and I were talking the other day. There are members of our families that are out of work."
Mr. Obama added, "We're not that far removed from struggling to pay bills."
A White House official declined to identify any unemployed relatives of the Obamas except to say, "I don't think they are close close" family members.
Mr. Obama's stop in came as part of his economic tour across the country to discuss job creation.