"We all know that there are limits to what government can and should do," Mr. Obama said. "But we have an obligation to consider every additional responsible step that we can to encourage and accelerate job creation in this country."
The president announced the summit, to be called the Forum on Jobs and Economic Growth, moments before departing for a trip to Asia. Mr. Obama said he will work on a global economic strategy while abroad and will continue to make the nation's economic recovery the focus of his administration.
The U.S. unemployment rate for October surpassed 10 percent, hitting the double digits for the first time since 1983. Claims for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, but economists still predict a "jobless recovery" from the recession.
Acknowledging the hardship Americans are undergoing, the president said "even though we've slowed the loss of jobs... the economic growth that we've seen has not yet led to the job growth that we desperately need."
To address that, Mr. Obama said, the December forum will bring together CEOs, small business owners, economists, labor unions and nonprofit organizations to discuss job creation.
"It's important we don't make any ill-considered decisions... particularly at a time when our resources are so limited," he said. "But it's just as important that we are open to any demonstrably good idea to supplement the steps we've already taken to put America back to work."