National unemployment is at a record high and federal aid for states, cities, and towns is an absolutely necessary component to the job recovery effort.

States around the country are struggling to balance their budgets, with many considering eliminating thousands of public service jobs as a means of reducing spending. These cuts would effectively end employment for health care workers, corrections officers, sanitation workers, school custodians, public health nurses and millions of other employees who are working on the front lines to defend from and defeat the coronavirus.

AFSCME and a coalition of others are requesting that Congress ensure the jobs and safety of workers by include funding for state and municipalities in the next coronavirus aid package.

“The coronavirus pandemic has triggered the most devastating economic crisis of our lifetimes,” AFSCME President Lee Saunders said in a statement. “State and local aid may be the difference between a recession and a depression, and there’s only one way to reverse course and kickstart a recovery: Congress must fund the front lines.”

Read more about how the coronavirus is leading to massive state unemployment and how Congress must help with the recovery effort here.