Local Jobs for America Act: Creating Jobs and Stemming Massive Layoffs in Local Communities Quickly

Sep 8, 2011 Issues: Jobs and Job Training


Our nation is going through one of the most difficult economic times in its history. Slow economic growth is forcing states and municipalities to cut critical jobs – teachers, police, firefighters, childcare workers, and others. The Local Jobs for America Act (H.R. 2828) will provide our economy a shot in the arm by putting people back to work by restoring these services in local communities.

Local communities have shed more than 600,000 jobs since August 2008. And many more layoffs are on the horizon.

Between April and June of this year, communities averaged a loss of 23,000 public sector jobs each month.  A loss of a job – public or private – is devastating to families and local communities. These are workers who have mortgages, spend in local businesses, and pay taxes.

Class sizes are increasing because of school layoffs.

States like California, Georgia, Nevada, Ohio, Utah and Wisconsin have all loosened their class size requirements. For instance, the Los Angeles school system increased their freshman math and English classes from 20 to 34 students. Just this summer, 85,000 school personnel received pink slips, bringing a total of 290,000 education workers losing their jobs since September 2008.

Public safety suffers because of local job losses.

For instance, Trenton, N.J. has been forced to lay off 108 police officers, leaving the city with staffing levels in its police department at 1932 levels. Cities, towns and counties across the country have seen similar cuts to public safety and firefighters.

Vital services that American families rely on have been cut or eliminated as the result of local government budget cuts.

Whether it is public transportation, public health, social services, afterschool programs or childcare, cuts to vital services hit those who have been impacted the most in the economic downturn. The Local Jobs for America Act will help ensure that local communities can still operate these essential services.

Public sector layoffs results in private sector job loss.

For every 100 public sector layoffs, 30 private sector jobs are lost as a result, according to the Economic Policy Institute. By increasing employment in local communities, families will be able to start spending again at their neighborhood businesses.

Specifically, the Local Jobs for America Act invests:

  • $23 billion this year to help states support 250,000 education jobs
  • $1.18 billion to put 5,500 law enforcement officers on the beat
  • $500 million to retain, rehire, and hire firefighters
  •  Funds for 50,000 on-the-job private-sector training positions
  • Additional funds for local communities to hire other vital staff over two years