President Barack Obama says Congress must pass job program

DETROIT

The president appeared before thousands of United Auto Workers union members at a Labor Day rally.

He says it is time for congressional Republicans to put their country ahead of their party and vote to create new jobs.

The president said lawmakers must move quickly to create jobs, and said his proposal will be a test of whether congressional Republicans will put country ahead of party.

Obama said "the time for Washington games is over," and it is now time for action.

The visit comes in the aftermath of Friday's dismal jobs report, which showed that employers added no jobs in the month of August.

It was the first time since 1945 that the government reported a net job change of zero. The unemployment rate, meanwhile, held steady at 9.1 percent.

It also comes three days ahead of a speech on jobs to a joint session of Congress.

Polls show the economy and jobs are the public's top concerns. Public approval of Obama's handling of the economy hit a new low of 26 percent in a recent Gallup survey.

Obama is expected to push programs such as investment in infrastructure, special assistance to dislocated workers, and a continuation of payroll tax relief for middle-class workers.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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