President Obama says more federal spending will help avert a looming crisis that could stifle economic growth and torment commuters.
The proportion of the unemployed and underemployed, including those so discouraged they stopped seeking work, is still one of every eight workers.
There are nearly two million fewer jobs in mid- and higher-wage industries than there were before the recession took hold, while there are 1.85 million more jobs in lower-wage industries.
The Senate passed a bill reviving the program for long-term jobless workers. House leaders have said they won't take up the Senate bill, and Congress is due to leave town for a two-week recess.
Obama's proposed budget for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1 would increase spending for innovative manufacturing and infrastructure improvements and raise the federal minimum wage.
Unionists mobilized against anti-worker schemes, delivering more than 6,850 handwritten and individual letters to state House Speaker Tim Jones demanding he reject so-called Right to Work legislation.
The differences in commuting times for inner-city minority residents and suburban non-minorities are significant enough to affect minorities' pay and job possibilities.
They hope the campaign will resonate with voters concerned about low incomes, citizens worried about climate change and lawmakers who will respond to pressure on both.
"Outsourcing an essential public service to a for-profit corporation staffed with clerks making less than a livable wage and no accountability to the American public is completely irrational."
XL backers' arguments that the project is a jobs provider are being disputed. Many, including some labor activists, feel that the pipeline issue does not need to be divisive, and that they share the same underlying interests.