Green Jobs Key to Reducing Nation's High Unemployment Rates

Jan 08, 2010, 14:07 ET from Bread for the World

WASHINGTON, Jan. 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In light of new unemployment figures released today, Bread for the World urged the government to make investments that would create jobs and achieve a sustainable economic recovery.

Government data released today shows the unemployment rate held steady at 10 percent for December 2009. However, the United States still lost 85,000 jobs last month -- many more than economists expected -- with a majority in the construction, manufacturing and wholesale trade industries.

Asma Lateef, director, Bread for the World Institute, described today's unemployment statistics as a grim reminder that poor working families have been the hardest hit. She said that according to the organization's new report, Hunger 2010: A Just and Sustainable Recovery, we have seen an increase in hunger around the world, and in the United States alone, the number of people who struggle to put food on the table has surged to 49.1 million.

"The focus now for our nation's lawmakers should be on job creation," said Lateef. "One of the best investments we can make -- one that would both create jobs and put our economy on a sustainable path -- is to invest in clean energy, and re-tool our aging infrastructure for the 21st century. This would create millions of green jobs in the manufacturing and construction sectors, and would be a very effective long-term investment."

According to Lateef, green jobs are the types of jobs that can benefit a wide range of skills, including roofing and other building trades. Workers can quickly be trained to do their jobs using green building methods and materials.

"If we invest in making our homes and buildings more energy-efficient, and in greening our infrastructure, it's those kinds of jobs that would be created. And green jobs are the kind that will help the poorest among us -- the people who need steady employment the most," she said. "In that sense, green jobs are addressing an immediate need, but also putting us on a path to a sustainable economy."

Lateef added that the jobs that will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels could employ more than three times as many workers as those under a fossil fuel-based economy, and more than surpass the 2.1 million manufacturing jobs lost since the start of the recession.

Bread for the World ( is a collective Christian voice urging our nation's decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad.

SOURCE Bread for the World