President Bush says growing U.S. unemployment means that Congress should cut taxes to create more jobs. The president insisted reducing taxes is the way to stimulate economic growth.
Nearly 50,000 people lost their jobs last month, bringing U.S. unemployment to its highest level so far this year.
Speaking to workers at a defense plant in California, President Bush says the new unemployment figures show that the economy is not growing fast enough.
"The unemployment number is now at six percent, which should serve as a clear signal to the United States Congress," he said. "We need a bold economic recovery package to people can find work."
The president has given up on his original goal of a $726 billion tax cut because members of his own party said it was too much government revenue to lose during a time of war and continuing economic weakness.
Now Mr. Bush is pushing for a $550 billion plan in hopes of stopping a measure, already passed by the Senate, calling for even smaller tax cuts.
The president says his plan would help create more than one million new jobs by the end of 2004. Congressional Democrats say the plan unfairly favors the rich by eliminating taxes on corporate dividends.