We know that we’ve talked about the job-creating TANF Emergency Fund a lot on this blog, but its merits bear repeating as we approach Labor Day – a day that celebrates the American worker. Labor Day is a yearly national tribute to workers’ contributions to our country’s strength and prosperity. The subsidized jobs that the TANF Emergency Fund have created have done exactly that — helped to support and stabilize families and helped workers and businesses weather this recession and build toward a better future.
But, unless Congress extends the fund beyond its scheduled September 30 expiration, many more workers will lose their jobs – for example, more than 20,000 in Illinois, as many as 12,000 in Pennsylvania, 7,000 in Los Angeles and 3,000 in Florida. Perhaps you have seen our previous posts on this? Here’s more information about the fund – which is, in short, an emergency jobs program that was a piece of the 2009 Recovery Act through which 37 states have provided subsidized jobs for nearly 250,000 otherwise unemployed parents and youth.
As September 30 approaches, states are ramping down their subsidized jobs programs, stopping new placements and giving notice that existing jobs will end. This comes at a time when long-term unemployment is at historic highs and data suggest the nation faces a slow and long road ahead to providing sufficient jobs for unemployed workers.
We released a report today outlining how the fund is working and what jobs to support their families have meant to the unemployed parents that the program has served. Let’s celebrate Labor Day by helping keep and create more jobs, not fewer, for unemployed workers.