President Barack Obama convened a meeting of Top Republican and Democratic leaders on Tuesday in the White House and called on the two parties to focus on creating jobs and cooperating on battled economy.

There should be some areas where we can agree and we can get some things done, even as we have vigorous debates on some of those issues that we don't agree on, Obama said at the meeting.

 It was the first time in two months that GOP leaders met with Obama in the White House.

Obama said a good place to start is moving forward on a jobs package. He said he wants to see bills moving through Congress over the next several weeks.

He also hopes that the two parties can work together to reduce the U.S. budget deficit.

Obama's meeting with the congressional leadership comes as the Labor Department reported that U.S. job openings and layoffs rose in December.

The total number of open jobs in the U.S. rose in December to a seasonally adjusted 2.50 million. Layoffs rose 3.4% to 2.08 million.