National League of Cities Issues Statement on Latest Unemployment Figures, Urges Congress to Take Immediate Action to Support Local Governments

February 5, 2021

Washington, D.C. – Today, National League of Cities (NLC) CEO and Executive Director Clarence E. Anthony issued the following statement after the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that local governments have lost more than 13,000 jobs in the last month, underscoring the urgent need for Congress to provide immediate relief to local governments to prevent additional layoffs of essential municipal workers: 

“The startling increase in local government job losses since December is a body blow to cities, towns and villages across the country that are struggling to maintain essential services for their residents. These painful losses come at a time when municipal services are in high demand to address the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, including equitable distribution of vaccines to our most vulnerable communities. Local governments alone have already shed over 340,000 jobs since the beginning of the pandemic, severely limiting the capacity of local officials to keep their residents safe and help communities recover from the economic devastation inflicted by the COVID-19 crisis. 

“In order to get through this crisis together, we need Congress to approve direct relief to cities, towns and villages immediately to ensure our local governments have the tools, resources and – most importantly – the personnel to keep municipal operations running and to deliver critical services to residents struggling during this pandemic. Local governments have gone above and beyond to address and overcome the challenges posed by the COVID-19 emergency, and it is past time for Congress to live up to its duty to ensure all American communities have a fair shot at responding to this crisis.” 

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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.