Published: Feb 24, 2011 9:00 PM EST
Updated: Feb 24, 2011 6:00 PM EST

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama says the biggest challenge facing the U.S. economy is an unemployment rate that remains unacceptably high.

Obama told his newly created competitiveness council Thursday that its top priority must be creating jobs during a period of fiscal restraint.

Obama named business and labor leaders to the council, including GE Chairman Jeffrey Immelt and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. The council plans to deliver recommendations to the president within 90 days.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)