The latest round of proposed economic fixes comes after the Labor Department reported last week that the economy shed 54,000 jobs in August and the unemployment rate ticked upward to 9.6 percent.
But private sector businesses did continue to add jobs for the eighth consecutive month, a sign, the White House says, that the economy is bouncing back.
"The new jobs just haven't been coming fast enough," Obama said. "The plain truth is, there's no silver bullet or quick fix to the problem. ... It will take more time than any of us wants to dig out of the hole created by this economic crisis."
The president heads to Cleveland Wednesday, when he is expected to propose additional ideas to help spark economic growth, including new tax breaks for small businesses and a permanent extension of a research and development tax credits.
So far, the small, positive economic gains touted by the administration -- and the argument by many Democrats that the recession could have been much worse without their economic policies -- have failed to win popular support.
The latest USA Today/Gallup poll found Americans believe Republicans would do a better job than Democrats in handling the economy by a 49 to 38 percent margin.
The president devoted most of the past week to foreign affairs, heralding the end of combat operations in Iraq and hosting the first direct peace negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians in nearly two years.
Much of July and August was consumed with other controversies and crises, from the BP oil spill to a proposed "mosque" near Ground Zero, that seemed to distract from the administration's message. The first family also took a 10-day vacation on Martha's Vineyard.
Meanwhile, what the White House had billed as "Recovery Summer" largely failed to materialize. Vice President Joe Biden predicted in April that creation of 250,000 to 500,000 new jobs a month could be on the horizon.
"The stimulus -- the plan he laid out last year -- has worked when it was tried, but it was obvious from the beginning that it was too small," economist Krugman said.
Many economists agree the $787 billion stimulus -- formally known as the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act -- did soften the blow of the recession. The independent Congressional Budget Office estimated 3.3 million jobs were saved.
But it's impact largely has worn off.
Economic growth is "going to drop rapidly for the rest of this year and the Recovery Act is going to add zero. It will have run out," said Josh Bivens, an economist at the nonpartisan Economic Policy Institute.
The White House has acknowledged there may be limited options left for Obama besides trying to build consumer confidence and to continue trying smaller-scale targeted measures to boost growth.
The president will hold a rare formal press conference with reporters at the White House on Friday.