NLC calls for federal jobs legislation
Following news of a better-than-expected unemployment rate, the National League of Cities (NLC) renewed its call last week for a federal jobs plan.
On Friday, the U.S. Department of Labor released statistics showing that the unemployment rate, which had stood at about 9 percent for two and a half years, fell to 8.6 percent in November. According to the Associated Press (AP), the surprising dip was caused in part “by small businesses that finally see reason to hope and hire.”
The United States added a net 120,000 jobs last month: the private sector added 140,000 jobs, while governments trimmed approximately 20,000, according to AP.
Ted Ellis, mayor of Bluffton, Ind., and president of NLC, said the drop is insufficient and that the November statistics underscore the need for federal action. “While showing improvement, the number of jobs created is far from adequate,” Ellis said in a statement. “The continued high unemployment rate confirms that far too many families are still struggling to make ends meet and that recovery is taking too long.”
“[Friday’s] numbers demonstrate the continued need for Congress and the Administration to put aside their differences and take action to strengthen our local economies,” Ellis added. “Our nation’s cities are where economic recovery will take place, with businesses being started and jobs being created. The country continues to wait for a much-needed jobs plan that will put Americans back to work while positioning the nation for future growth and economic competitiveness.”
Ellis’ call for a jobs plan was the most recent example of the NLC’s lobbying for federal action to improve the struggling economy. In October, an NLC-led group of city officials visited the White House to urge the Obama Administration to help local economies by investing in transportation infrastructure, maintaining tax-exempt bonds and reducing economic-development regulations.