WASHINGTON (AFP) - President-elect Barack Obama said Saturday the US economy was already in "recession" and urged Congress to take urgent steps to alleviate the financial pain of millions of Americans. "If Congress does not pass an immediate plan that gives the economy the boost it needs, I will make it my first order of business as president," Obama said in the Democratic Party's weekly radio address. Following his historic election triumph on November 4, the first black US president will inherit an economy in crisis and two foreign wars when he succeeds George W. Bush on January 20. Obama's transition planning accelerated Saturday with the appointment of three aides to his White House team, including long-time friend Valerie Jarrett as a senior advisor and assistant for intergovernmental relations. Obama is said to be considering former Democratic primary rival Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, after the two met in Chicago on Thursday, although reports said he had also met New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson to discuss the job of top US diplomat. The Democrats' 2004 nominee, Senator John Kerry, also reportedly remains on Obama's short list but The Washington Post said Clinton was "now a top contender" for the pressing task of mending frayed US alliances abroad. But the ABC network, quoting a source close to the transition process, described Thursday's talks between the two in Chicago "as not a hard offer. Obama is more cautious than that." As leaders of the world's 20 biggest economies convened for a Washington summit, Obama said fixing the stricken US economy would be his top priority from January.  In the radio address, the president-elect welcomed Bush's convocation of the G20 summit "because our global economic crisis requires a coordinated global response." "And yet, as we act in concert with other nations, we must also act immediately here at home to address America's own economic crisis," he said, calling for a second round of stimulus spending. Congress reconvenes Monday for a lame-duck session in the waning weeks of Bush's administration, which has opposed another stimulus package after a 168-billion-dollar round of tax rebates for consumers agreed last February. The Bush White House is instead focused on dispensing a 700-billion-dollar rescue deal for Wall Street, though it has now shifted the focus from buying up toxic mortgages to directly injecting cash into struggling banks. The US economy shrank 0.3 percent in the July-September quarter as panicked consumers slashed spending, and now Obama's Democratic allies in Congress are pushing for a broader bailout encompassing the stricken auto industry. "Even as we dig ourselves out of this recession, we must also recognize that out of this economic crisis comes an opportunity to create new jobs, strengthen our middle class, and keep our economy competitive in the 21st century," Obama said. The world's largest economy is not technically in recession yet, though the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development predicts the United States will suffer a huge 2.8-percent contraction in the current quarter. Setting the stage for what is likely to be a fractious lame-duck session of Congress, Obama called in particular for a helping hand to more than one million out-of-work Americans whose unemployment insurance will soon run out. Revisiting his campaign pledges, Obama called for a long-term investment program that would put two million Americans to work rebuilding roads, bridges, and schools, and investment of 150 billion dollars to build a "green economy." Meanwhile, in their first joint interview since the election, Obama and his wife Michelle Obama described on CBS program "60 Minutes" the moment when they realized he had won as they sat watching television in a Chicago hotel. "I remember we were watching the returns and, on one of the stations, Barack's picture came up and it said 'President-Elect Barack Obama'," Michelle Obama said, in an excerpt released ahead of the program's broadcast on Sunday. "And I looked at him and said, 'You are the 44th president of the United States of America. Wow. What a country we live in'."