[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/11/15/art.obamaecon.gi.jpg caption="Obama said an economic stimulus package will be his first priority."](CNN) - President-elect Barack Obama urged Congress on Saturday to work next week on a plan to help the country's economy and in particular address unemployment insurance.
"If Congress does not pass an immediate plan that gives the economy the boost it needs, I will make it my first order of business as president," he said in his weekly address, which is posted online.
"I urge them to pass at least a down payment on a rescue plan that will create jobs, relieve the squeeze on families and help get the economy growing again," he said.
"In particular, we cannot afford to delay providing help for the more than one million Americans who will have exhausted their unemployment insurance by the end of this year."
According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Thursday, 76 percent of Americans said they believe it is likely that Obama will improve economic conditions. In addition, 73 percent of those surveyed said they believe that Obama will bring stability to the financial markets.
Obama, who won 53 percent of the popular vote on November 4, takes office January 20. Many have compared the obstacles that face him to those Franklin Delano Roosevelt confronted when he won the 1932 election.
"Make no mistake," Obama warned Saturday. "This is the greatest economic challenge of our times."
However, he added, "I am more hopeful than ever that America will rise once again."