(WASHINGTON) -- Mayors from around the nation have converged on the nation's capital in hopes of figuring out how to create more jobs in their hometowns. Over the course of several days, the mayors will be meeting with legislators both Republican and Democrat, cabinet members, and President Barack Obama.
Elizabeth Kautz, mayor of Burnsville, Minnesota and president of the United States Conference of Mayors, said, “The jobs picture for cities and suburbs remains extremely challenging."
The United States Conference of Mayors released an economic report showing that nearly one-third of the nation's 363 metro areas will still have an unemployment rate greater than 10 percent at the end of the year.
“This data is solid proof that Congress needs to be laser-beam focused on jobs creation,” said Kautz. “We are in the middle of a ‘jobs emergency’ that demands decisive and swift action," Kautz said.
The report also predicts that 42 percent of metropolitan areas will not gain back their pre-recession job levels until after 2014.
“As we try to slog our way out of this jobs recession, there are still families all over the nation that are suffering tremendously from prolonged unemployment. Without job growth in metropolitan areas, there can be no sustained national recovery. Our cities and our metro economies are centers of our national economy. We ignore them at our own peril," Kautz said.
The group of mayors are calling for community development block grants to be given to cities across the country so that money can be spent on job creation projects. All of the details of their plan are outlined in their 2011 Metro Agenda.
“The nation’s mayors are calling on all levels of government, as well as the private sector, to work closer together to build a bold vision for what cities and metropolitan areas will look like in the coming decades. And job creation is the key to that vision," Kautz said.
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio