The president said Tuesday that renewed employment typically lags behind other signs of improvement as a swooning economy turns around.
More than 2 million jobs have been lost since Congress passed Obama's $787 billion economic stimulus package. The unemployment rate stands at 9.5 percent, the highest in 26 years.
Obama said the single biggest challenge for the U.S. and other nations is the creation of enough jobs that pay good wages.
He spoke in the Oval Office after meeting with Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende.