Washington, D.C. – Following the release of July 2020 unemployment data this morning, National League of Cities (NLC) CEO and Executive Director Clarence E. Anthony issued the following statement:
“Today’s jobs report underscores the fragility of the national economic recovery due to the resurgence of COVID-19 in communities across the country, emphasizing the need for direct federal aid to local governments now so that municipalities can continue providing the essential services that keep our residents safe, spur economic growth and create jobs. Congress must recognize that an extension of unemployment benefits alone is not a cure for our nation’s economic woes – we need unemployment prevention, and that starts with delivering critical aid to the municipalities that support the public and private sector job creation and local economic activity we need to get America working again.
“Small cities and towns across America were left behind through the CARES Act, and our communities simply cannot afford to be left behind by Congress again. Local governments have hemorrhaged jobs, with a third of cities already beginning to furlough or lay off essential municipal workers while nearly half are planning to institute hiring freezes. The long-term costs and the economic damage will be even greater in the long run if we fail to act now and support a comprehensive unemployment package that includes direct aid to municipalities in order to stop the bleeding.
“If we don’t treat this issue comprehensively now, we will soon be back to negotiating for another extension of unemployment insurance benefits, this time including more local government employees who have been laid off (515,000 since February) due to unavoidable cuts in municipal budgets.”
NLC launched the Cities Are Essential campaign in May, calling on the federal government to ensure there is flexible, direct funding relief provided to America’s municipalities.
The National League of Cities (NLC) is the voice of America’s cities, towns and villages, representing more than 200 million people. NLC works to strengthen local leadership, influence federal policy and drive innovative solutions. Stay connected with NLC on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.