WASHINGTON, Nov. 29, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- America's Building Trades Unions today issued a strong appeal to the United States Congress to extend the federal Unemployment Insurance (UI) programs that are set to expire in January, 2012. American skilled craft professionals in the building and construction industry continue to face a national unemployment rate approaching 14 percent, and in some metropolitan areas that figure rises above 30 and 40 percent.
Millions of hardworking Americans will lose the emergency lifeline that is unemployment insurance, unless Congress acts. Our nation's struggling economy cannot afford to lose the economic impact of these benefits. Leading economists agree that UI benefits help maintain consumer demand in an otherwise bleak economy. UI payments go straight back into the economy and support local businesses, help to create and maintain jobs, and most importantly, provide a sustenance to those who are in desperate straits.
"Extending UI benefits for the long-term unemployed should never be a partisan issue," said Mark H. Ayers, President of the Building and Construction Trades Department. "It would be nothing short of disgraceful for the U.S. Congress to politicize this issue, which is simply an effort to help millions of Americans survive the worst economy since the Great Depression. Congress needs to act now!"
The Building and Construction Trades Department is an alliance of 13 national and international unions that collectively represent over 2 million skilled craft professionals in the United States and Canada.
SOURCE Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO