For Immediate Release
Email: Natalia Pérez Santos

AFSCME’s Saunders: Job Numbers Show State & Local Aid May be ‘the Difference Between a Recession and a Depression’

AFSCME President Lee Saunders released the following statement reacting to the April jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

“The coronavirus pandemic has triggered the most devastating economic crisis of our lifetimes. The nation hemorrhaged 980,000 public service jobs last month – a staggering and unprecedented figure, more than were lost in the entire Great Recession. And this could be just the beginning – as the overall economy continues to decline, we are likely to see more public sector job loss, which has historically lagged behind private sector job loss.

“This is catastrophic for communities that rely on quick 911 response times, clean water, reasonable class sizes and so many other vital services. These job losses are undermining public safety, public health, public education and everything else that keeps our communities vibrant and strong. This is the worst possible time to hand pink slips to our front-line fighters, who are courageously risking their lives to protect their neighbors in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. We need our hospital workers, home care providers, corrections officers and school custodians now more than ever.

“Congress has the ability and the responsibility to step in. The need for a bold package of assistance to state and local governments has never been more urgent. State and local aid may be the difference between a recession and a depression, and there’s only one way to reverse course and kickstart a recovery: Congress must fund the front lines.”