MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Rep. Ilhan Omar announced Thursday a bill to provide jobs to Americans in areas suffering from high unemployment.
Omar, a Democrat who represents Minneapolis, announced the “Workforce Promotion and Access Act,” alongside Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, a fellow Democrat from New Jersey.
According to a release, the bill would create a job guarantee program through states, localities and tribal entities in places where unemployment is higher that 10% or double the national unemployment rate.
The jobs would pay at least $15 an hour and target areas like childcare, eldercare and infrastructure. Anyone 18 or older would be able to work.
“Even before this crisis hit, 4 out of 10 Americans were one paycheck away from poverty,” Omar said, in the statement. “Now more than ever, the federal government has a moral responsibility to alleviate the unnecessary pain and create a federal job guarantee program. This program is the type of bold solution our country needs to lift up workers, broaden prosperity, and improve communities.”
Also on Thursday, the U.S. Labor Department announced that the national unemployment rate was at 11% in June. This is down from 13% May as more Americans went back to work following the lockdowns brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Still, the economic future remains uncertain, as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to surge and businesses struggle to function and survive in an era of social distancing.