German unemployment is not nearly as bad now as USA's, because Germany shortened their work week from 40 hours of work, so that the burden of recession would be more equitably distributed.
We could do this now, without lessening production, without additional taxes. Perhaps Obama could do this without the bother of Congressional approval - Here a lawyer could provide insight.
If the 32-hour work week came into effect, USA could increase the number of jobs available by one fifth. We could in some ways completely eliminate the real unemployment, rated at 17.5%, as compared to the official distorted rate of 10.2%, and still provide further jobs for those seeking additional work from abroad or with large debts or ambitious goals.
In addition, we USers would have time to both work and pursue additional schooling throughout our careers, and so help make our country more capable, while expanding our individual horizons.