Reporting from Washington — Even as he takes a series of executive actions to juice the economy, President Obama said Wednesday that he alone can’t solve the unemployment crisis and he needs Congress to spend money on major new programs to dent the jobless rate.

In recent weeks, Obama has been trying to bypass Congress, using his own executive authority to reduce student loan payments, help struggling homeowners refinance their loans and ease the shortage in prescription drugs. He has been acting under a new battle cry: “We can’t wait.”

But in an appearance at a bridge connecting northern Virginia to Washington, D.C., Obama conceded that his strategy has limitations. On his own, he can’t create enough jobs to find work for the 14 million unemployed, he said.