Friday, October 2, 2009

NLC Statement on Unemployment Numbers: Indicate Cities Expected to Struggle in Coming Years

/PRNewswire/ -- Today's unemployment figures demonstrate that while the economy may be showing some signs of recovery, many people and cities are still feeling the effects of the economic downturn. According to the Department of Labor, local governments cut 47,000 jobs in September alone. Job cuts are typically a last case effort for local governments trying to find cost savings.

"Cities are facing enormous financial pressures right now and their fiscal circumstances are indicative of the depth of the downturn," said Christopher Hoene, director of research and innovation for the National League of Cities. "Cities lag behind the overall economy by 18 to 24 months and are only just beginning to see the worst of the recession. These job losses may only be an indicator of what is to come in the rest of 2009 and 2010."

The National League of Cities recently made public the results of a survey city finance officers. The report showed that in the face of declining revenue and increasing expenses, city finance officers are pessimistic about cities' abilities to meet their financial needs. Nine in ten (88%) say this year will be difficult in meeting fiscal needs, while 89% expect the same in 2010.

The report, City Fiscal Conditions 2009, is a national mail and online survey of finance officers in U.S. cities conducted in the spring-summer of each year. This is the twenty-fourth edition of the survey which began in 1986.

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