A White House official says President Barack Obama is planning a bus tour through the politically important states of North Carolina and Virginia later this month to push for his jobs plan.

The trip is scheduled for Oct. 17-19, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of a formal announcement.

The trip will be similar to a three-day bus tour through Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois the president went on in August.

Obama is intent on keeping up the pressure on Congress over his jobs proposal, a message the White House believes can resonate with the public, and he often picks states that could be important for his 2012 re-election chances. North Carolina and Virginia are both traditionally Republican states that Obama won in 2008.