The US Senate on Wednesday approved a $15-billion package aimed at reviving the sluggish labour market in the US.
The Senate voted 70-28 in favour of the legislation, the bulk of which involves a tax incentive for businesses to start hiring again. It also extends some federal subsidies for infrastructure spending.
US President Barack Obama and Congress have been under pressure to do more to bring the US unemployment rate down from 9.7 per cent, near a quarter-century high. Jobs have remained scarce even as the economy has begun pulling out of a deep recession in the past year.
The Senate vote marked a rare show of bipartisanship in Congress, as 13 Republican lawmakers voted in favour of the bill. The legislation now goes to the House of Representatives.