President Barack Obama asked leaders in various capacities today how companies could start hiring again in opening remarks that were part of a business forum convened in Washington today.

“I am not interested in taking a wait-and-see approach when it comes to creating jobs,” President Obama said after noting that “we knew” that it would take time for job growth to catch up with economic growth after the recession ended in the latest quarter.

The forum had been scheduled to last four hours today starting this afternoon.

While the government has enacted various spending and tax credit programs, playing a “critical role,” “true economic recovery” will only come from the private sector, he said.

President Obama asked for input from leaders in unions, universities, mayors, community leaders and chief executives of corporations.

He said he would also be holding conversations at locations outside Washington about the issue.

He said he was looking for “smart and strategic” decisions that would “give us the biggest bang for the buck.”

He said he was confident that the group would make progress and welcomed specific ideas from forum participants on how to boost jobs.