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One way to tackle the mismatch, Mr. Silvia said, is with reforms in the unemployment insurance program suggested by Mr. Obama, enabling employers to train and try out unemployed workers while theyre still collecting benefits. Programs doing this have been successful in Georgia and New Hampshire. Mr. Obama even cited the Georgia program in his jobs speech.

“That may offer some hope for those out of work for long periods,” Mr. Silvia said. “The unemployed get to update their skills while employers receive a break on training costs.”

Mr. Obama also is pressing for more spending on infrastructure to put more construction workers back on the job. By repairing and expanding crumbling roads and ports, the infrastructure spending also helps to improve efficiency in the transportation sector and smooth the way for businesses engaged in trade, making them more competitive.

While trade has been a winning sector so far in the recovery, some trade experts say the administration has not gone far enough in promoting U.S. exports and fighting unfair trade practices such as Chinas suspected suppression of its currencys value. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has made taking a stronger stand against China part of his campaign platform.

“There will be no effective job creation program that does not in some way substantially reduce the U.S. trade deficit,” trade expert Clyde Prestowitz said. He noted that the administrations previous efforts to pump up demand through tax cuts and infrastructure spending ended up helping China and other foreign producers as much as U.S. businesses because Americans used the cash to keep buying from overseas.

China, for example, is providing steel parts to be used in a San Francisco bridge being built under Mr. Obamas first stimulus program, he said.

This “leakage” of demand overseas is an important reason the recovery has “failed to launch,” Mr. Prestowitz said.

He advocates using aggressive measures to promote exports and fend off unfair competition from subsidized imports, including imposing countervailing duties on Chinese imports if the Asian giant continue to manipulate its currency to gain an advantage in trade.

“The fastest way to create 3 million jobs is to halve the trade deficit,” he said.