US President-elect Barack Obama says he knows it is up to him to save millions of American jobs .
He is working on a two-year stimulus package to stop the US descending into economic despair and adding to its already massive debt.
“I have already directed my economic team to come up with an economic recovery plan, that will mean two and half million more jobs by January of 2011, a plan big enough to meet the challenges we face, that I intend to sign soon after taking office,” he said on his weekly address to the nation.
Unemployment in the United States is at its highest for 16 years. Ten million Americans do not have a job. Obama said it is a crisis of historic proportions.
“We will put people back to work, rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges, modernising schools that are failing our children, and building wind farms and solar panels, fuel-efficient cars and the alternative energy technologies that can free us from our dependence on foreign oil and keep our economy competitive in the years ahead,” he said.
In the run up to the handover of power in January, Obama is continuing to craft his cabinet. The expected appointment of the New York Federal Reserve chief Timothy Geithner as treasury Secretary has already sent Wall Street soaring. And Hillary Clinton is now almost certain to accept the job of Secretary of State.