Congress left town on August 1 for a month-long recess without tackling a host of U.S. problems - and lack of infrastructure funding is one of those topping the list.
The proportion of the unemployed and underemployed, including those so discouraged they stopped seeking work, is still one of every eight workers.
The House's ruling Republicans jammed through a GOP-written budget blueprint for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1, by a 219-205 vote on Apr. 10.
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.
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.
The Economic Policy Institute, a progressive economic think tank, issued a statement that was positive in tone and substance about some aspects of the Labor Department's report but negative about others.
Senate Dems were unable to get cloture on a bill to extend unemployment benefits for people who have run out of eligibility without having been able to find work.
The unemployment rate ended up at 6.7 percent in December, down from 7.9 percent at the end of 2012 and 0.3 percent but only because more than half a million people stopped looking for work altogether, leaving 12.3 million officially une3mployed..
"I was once the main breadwinner but now we are not really able to make ends meet."
WASHINGTON - The federal government shutdown for the first half of October, imposed by tea party Republicans who refused to fund the government unless they could kill the Affordable Care Act, pushed the nation's jobless rate up that month by 0.1percent to 7.3 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.