But he added that while he is "open to every demonstrably good idea ... we also, though, have to face the fact that our resources are limited", as participants broke into working groups to brainstorm.

The call comes amid increasing scepticism over whether the stimulus package Obama announced earlier in the year is yielding results, and a day before unemployment figures for November are due to be released.

The US October unemployment rate was 10.2 per cent. A broader index that includes those who have given up looking for work and those forced to accept part-time jobs puts the rate at 17.5 per cent.

Economic forecasters expect the November figures to be at about the same levels.