Monday, December 07, 2009

Mr. President, please give us job tax credits

Unemployment is Los Angeles’s largest challenge in turning around our economy, and creating new jobs must be a core component of our regional economic recovery.

As President Obama moves forward with his focus on creating more jobs to help pull us out of this recession, I have asked him to consider expanding job tax credits for cities with high unemployment rates.

Specifically, these areas where the unemployment rate is above the national average (such as Los Angeles) could be helped by making businesses in them eligible for the same employment tax credits currently available to businesses in Empowerment Zones.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Los Angeles’s unemployment rate is currently 13.9 percent, not including those who are chronically unemployed or have simply given up their efforts to find a job. The national unemployment rate is 10 percent.

Two employment tax credits are currently administered through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Empowerment Zone Program. That the program already exists and would need to be expanded rather than developed from scratch would allow federal dollars to quickly begin making an impact in areas where job creation is most needed.