The White House also is considering a tax credit to encourage businesses to add employees. Obama's advisors previously opted against this approach, worrying that it would reward businesses for hiring moves they would have made anyway. The proposal under consideration would limit the credit to new employees.
Obama is expected to unveil the jobs plan after Labor Day and crisscross the country to make the case for it.
Not that a road show guarantees success. Last year, Obama came back from Martha's Vineyard and gave speeches in Wisconsin and Ohio laying out what the White House billed as a bold economic program. He called for quickly investing $50 billion in road, bridge and other public works projects. It didn't happen. He called for ending the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. Republicans prevailed in keeping them in place.
Next month, Obama will try again. His supporters hope to see him in fighting form.
"Boldness is not risky right now," said Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), who has put out a plan of her own to rehabilitate school buildings. "The people I run into in the grocery store want the president to focus more aggressively on creating more jobs. It's jobs, jobs, jobs."
Photos: Obama bus tour