In his weekly Saturday radio and Internet address, Obama lists initiatives already underway this year.
Among them are an overhaul of job training programs, creation of a new retirement savings program and commitments from CEOs to do more to hire the long-term unemployed.
Republicans have bristled, saying Obama is overreaching by sidestepping Congress.
In the Republican address, Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina spotlights the Veterans Affairs Department's disability claims backlog.
Burr acknowledges that the number of unanswered claims has declined, but he says the logjam remains high and that veterans encounter errors in their claims.