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Lawmakers Need To Direct Job Opportunities To The Hardest-Hit Communities

 

ON THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE RECOVERY ACT, HIGHER LATINO UNEMPLOYMENT DEMANDS NEW STRATEGIES TO CREATE JOBS, SAYS NCLR

 

Washington, DC—When President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) one year ago, the unemployment rate for Latinos was 9.9%; today it is nearly three points higher: 12.6%. Meanwhile, the national unemployment rate has yet to reach the pre-ARRA figure for Latinos, rising two points over the year to 9.7%. Though ARRA has provided important relief to struggling families, it lacks measures to create jobs in areas of concentrated, high unemployment. This major weakness has contributed to the disproportionate rise in unemployment among minority workers. Now, as Congress seeks to enact new legislation to create jobs, NCLR (National Council of La Raza)—the largest national Latino civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States—is calling on lawmakers to direct job opportunities toward the hardest-hit communities.

“We are encouraged that Congress is heeding the president’s call to focus on jobs,” said NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía. “However, we will not accept more of the same from Congress. A lack of will in Washington to bring real job opportunities to our communities fails to convince Latino workers that Congress is fighting for them.”

Public opinion polls show that new job opportunities are especially lacking in minority communities. NCLR recommends a strategy to tackle joblessness and foreclosure simultaneously. Congress should fund local governments and nonprofit organizations to hire housing counselors to keep people in their homes, maintenance and repair workers to take care of vacant properties, and construction workers to redevelop and rebuild neighborhoods. Unless lawmakers ensure equal employment and homeownership opportunities for all communities, economic gaps will widen, meaning a slower recovery for the nation overall.

 

“We look forward to working with Congress to improve its jobs legislation to more effectively hire unemployed workers and put families back on the path to economic security,” Murguía concluded.

Click here to learn more about NCLR’s work on economic recovery. For more information, visit www.nclr.org | http://www.facebook.com/nationalcounciloflaraza | http://www.myspace.com/nclr2008 | http://twitter.com/nclr.

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Contact:
Jackeline Stewart
(202) 785-1670



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