Cities’ Jobs Number Response: Congress Must Stop Partisan Bickering and Invest for the Long-Term

The following statement is from Ted Ellis, Mayor of Bluffton, Indiana, and President of the National League of Cities, in response to the May 2012 jobs numbers:

"May's jobs numbers reflect minimal economic improvement. While we welcome the improvement, the job growth remains much too slow and we need to see the unemployment rate going down. Too many workers in our cities are unemployed, underemployed or have given up looking for work all together.

"Local leaders around the country are doing what we can to create jobs. We are using our local resources to support investments in infrastructure and human capital that will create jobs and lay the foundation for future growth. But Congressional gridlock has dampened hope of significant job growth any time soon. This has got to stop. America's cities and towns urge Congress to put aside the partisan bickering and pass legislation now that will contribute to economic growth.

"We are calling on Congress to pass a long-term transportation bill that will pave the way for states and local governments to build and maintain our country's roads, bridges, and highways and put significant numbers of construction workers back to work.

"We also need Congress to support a job training bill that is responsive to the current workplace and economic realities - a bill that addresses the mismatch between workers' skills and employer needs and gives workers the training they need to compete for jobs in high growth, high demand industries.

"Specifically, cities want to see a job training bill that expands worker access to industry-recognized skills training and credentials; enables programs to leverage private, non-profit, and government resources to better meet the needs of employers and workers; establishes service delivery areas that are based on regional economies rather than political boundaries; and promotes innovation and flexibility at the state and local levels that respond to emerging economic realities.

The National League of Cities is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.