Booker Wants to Guarantee Jobs in High Unemployment Communities
Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) will introduce legislation that seeks to establish a model federal jobs guarantee program in up to 15 high-unemployment communities and regions across the United States. The Federal Jobs Guarantee Development Act would establish a three-year pilot program in which the Department of Labor would select up to 15 local areas (defined in the bill as any political subdivision of a state, like a city or a county, or a group of cities and counties) and offer that area funding so that every adult living there is guaranteed a job paying at least $15 an hour (or the prevailing wage for the job in question, whichever is higher) and offering paid family/sick leave and health benefits. “Not only would this have a positive impact on the lives of potentially hundreds of thousands of Americans right away, but the valuable data gathered would help us learn lessons, assess its effectiveness, and perfect the idea,” Booker said. There are still 337 counties or county-equivalents with a combined labor force of more than 6.7 million people that have unemployment rates of 7% or higher as of February 2018. Advocates argue that the bill would help African Americans and disabled Americans who wouldn’t be expected to wait until employers have run out of white and non-disabled people to hire until they get their chance. More here.