Creating jobs in the faltering U.S. economy will require compromise and bipartisanship in Washington, President Obama said in his weekly address.
"We need Democrats and Republicans to work together to help grow this economy," Obama said Saturday. "We’ve got to put politics aside to get some things done. That’s what the American people expect of us."
A report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed the economy added a better-than-expected 117,000 jobs for the month of July.
The unemployment rate ticked back to 9.1 percent, and the Labor report found the private sector added 154,000 jobs.
Obama said the long-term "health of our economy depends" on reducing the budget deficit through the recently reached debt deal, although his weekend message was taped before Standard & Poor's downgraded the U.S. credit rating for the first time in history.
The credit rating firm said Friday night the recent plan to raise the debt limit while reducing the debt "falls short" of its expectations.
To spur job growth, Obama called on Congress to extend tax cuts for "working and middle class families," as well as extending unemployment benefits.
The president also called for reforming the patent system and congressional approval of pending trade deals.
In the midst of federal spending cuts, however, he also called for investment in infrastructure programs.
"We ought to give more opportunities to all those construction workers who lost their jobs when the housing boom went bust," Obama said. "We could put them to work right now, by giving loans to companies that want to repair our roads and bridges and airports, helping to rebuild America."
The president said these proposals had enjoyed bipartisan support in the past.
"So I’m going to keep calling on both parties in Congress to put aside their differences and send these bills to my desk so I can sign them right away," Obama said.