(CNN) – President Obama called on business leaders Thursday to help the administration kickstart hiring as policymakers contend with rising unemployment that’s weighing down the economy.
Some 130 executives, economists, small business owners and non-profit officials are gathering for the afternoon jobs summit at the White House on the eve of the government's November unemployment report. The nation is expected to have lost another 114,000 jobs, with unemployment remaining at 10.2%, the highest in 26 years, according to an economists' survey.
"I'm not interested in taking a wait and see approach when it comes to creating jobs," Obama said.
The employment picture is certainly grim. Nearly 16 million Americans are out of work, one-third of whom have been unemployed for more than six months. There are now six workers competing for every job vacancy.
President Obama and some lawmakers are searching for a way to stem this unrelenting loss of jobs, which is casting doubt on effectiveness of many of his economic programs, from his $787 billion stimulus plan to his $75 billion foreclosure prevention initiative.
Just how much Washington can do to boost hiring remains to be seen.