The National Retail Federation (NRF) has welcomed President Barack Obama's jobs push in his State of the Union Address.

"We have repeatedly called on Congress and President Obama to make the economy and job creation their top priority, so we are very pleased to see these goals emphasized by the President," said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay.

"There are many issues on the national agenda, but with our economy still struggling to recover, the most pressing need for the millions of Americans who remain out of work is a job.

"As the industry that supports one out of every four US jobs, retail is doing its part to put America back to work, but we cannot do it alone. We need Washington to pass laws that boost job creation and to repeal laws and red tape that stand in the way.

"That means putting an end to uncertainty on fiscal policy that cripples consumer confidence and long-term business planning, adoption of tax reform that will make US companies more competitive, removal of outdated restraints on trade, and a moratorium on mandates that drive up the cost of adding workers to the payroll."

The industry body said that in recent weeks it has proposed principles for tax reform that would boost the economy and job creation, urged lawmakers to make jobs their top priority, and warned that short-term deficit fixes should not be allowed to undermine long-term tax reform that will help create jobs.