Despite all the attention given to Afghanistan this week, President Obama knows that most Americans' biggest concern is the lackluster economy. When new unemployment numbers come out on Friday, they're likely to show that tens of thousands of people lost jobs in November. So the White House is hosting a jobs summit Thursday to collect ideas about how to put people back to work.
The administration will get advice from big-business executives, small-business owners, economists, union leaders and the mayor of Allentown, Pa. Obama also plans to visit Allentown on Friday to kick off a "White House to Main Street" tour.
"We have some people who are really hurting," says Allentown's Mayor Ed Pawlowski. "We're going to talk about things they could do to help stimulate jobs and improve the economy, as far as loosening up lending, getting some credit into the marketplace."
The administration has been trying to boost credit for small business with limited success. But the president has been hesitant about spending a lot more money to create jobs. He's caught in a political tug of war between those worried about rising unemployment and a rising federal deficit.