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Obama Pushes Ambitious Jobs Plan

U.S. President Barack Obama says his jobs plan will give a "jolt" to the stalled U.S. economy.
U.S. President Barack Obama has laid out his plan to create more jobs in the United States.

In an address to a rare joint session of Congress, Obama unveiled a jobs package worth up to $450 billion.

The program includes tax cuts, spending on construction, and more money for those out of work and for individual states.

"The purpose of the American Jobs Act is simple: to put more people back to work, and more money in the pockets of those who are working," Obama explained.

"It will create more jobs for construction workers, more jobs for teachers, more jobs for veterans, and more jobs for long-term unemployed. It will provide a tax break for companies who hire new workers and it will cut payroll taxes in half for every working American and every small business," the U.S. leader said.

Obama said the program would deliver a "jolt" to the "stalled" U.S. economy and he urged U.S. lawmakers to end the "political circus" and pass it without delay.

The U.S. job market needs big help.

In August, the economy added no new jobs, and the unemployment rate is 9.1 percent.

This has led to a big drop in Obama's approval rating in U.S. public opinion polls.

Analysts say Obama will have a hard time getting his plan through Congress, where Republicans control the House of Representatives.

Cutting unemployment is seen as key for Obama's chances to win reelection in 2012.

compiled from agency reports