The call from a leading Coalition TD came after the Enterprise Minister announced he was preparing a far-reaching “jobs strategy”.
Mr Bruton said he had started a “rolling process of engagement on the issues” and intended to bring forward an “action plan” in January.
Labour TD Colm Keaveney stressed that a robust response to the scale of the unemployment problem was essential.
“I welcome the fact the minister is engaging in consultations, but there is an appetite out there to see something more tangible than another report,” said the Galway TD.
Mr Bruton told the US/Ireland business conference at Farmleigh that the move could see more than 200,000 jobs coming back into the economy.
“If we work hard and take tough decisions I don’t see why we should not aspire to create over 200,000 jobs to have two million people at work again, be the best country in which to run an enterprise, significantly increase the share of our indigenous business in export markets, and ensure once again that all our children can have a future in Ireland.”
Fianna Fáil ridiculed Mr Bruton’s promise he could bring about 200,000 new jobs. The party’s finance spokesman, Michael McGrath said: “Before the election fine Gael promised they would create 100,000 jobs — now that’s been increased to 200,000. But still no impact has been made on the jobs situation, according to the Live Register.
“The so-called Jobs Initiative has so far failed to create any significant number of jobs.
“While we wish the new strategy well, we will remain sceptical about it.”
Mr Bruton came under fire in May when the “Jobs Budget” Fine Gael heralded as one of its main election pledges was re-classified to an “initiative” which included as a key element a scheme to set-up 5,000 work experience places.