"The president must be bold. I agree that he must have a jobs program, must create jobs," Waters said on NBC's "Meet the Press."
"I'm talking about a program of $1 trillion or more. We've got to put Americans to work. That's the only way to revitalize this economy. When people work and they earn money, they spend that money, and that is what gets the economy up and going."
As Obama prepares to deliver a major jobs speech before a joint session of Congress Thursday, Waters urged against "a program that simply gives more tax breaks to the very people who got us in this trouble in the first place."
"And so I'm hopeful, I'm very hopeful that the president is going to put a big program out there, and that he's going to fight very hard for it," she said.
Waters said with the unemployment rate at 9.1 percent, joblessness "is not only hitting the middle class, but it is hitting all classes."
She said blacks have been particularly hard hit, with an unemployment rate of 16.7 percent and said, "It is absolutely unconscionable what is happening in the minority communities."
And with the 12-member "supercommittee" in Congress charged with coming up with as much as $1.5 billion in spending cutbacks, she said, "That means that we're going to lose more jobs. That means more people are going to be unemployed."