With the nation’s employment picture improving, a group of unions and environmental organizations says now is the time to end the budget cuts and invest in the country.

“While the jobs numbers in April were better than expected, it’s only a matter of time before budget cuts from the sequester take their toll,” said BlueGreen Alliance Executive Director David Foster. “Worsening economic news from Europe continues to show that austerity programs lead to recession, economic contraction and greater deficits. The negative effects of the sequester are holding back the American economy. The best strategy for long-term economic growth is an environment of economic certainty.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said the U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 7.5 percent in April as the economy expanded. Foster said targeted spending could make it even stronger.

“We can create and sustain growth through long-term investments in our wastewater infrastructure, transit systems, electrical grid, roads and bridges and communications systems,” Foster said. “At the same time, this strategy will create good jobs for workers and keep our communities safe from the impacts of climate change. We can’t delay. We must make rebuilding the systems we rely on every day a priority so that we can protect the environment and strengthen the economy.”

The Sheet Metal Workers union is a member of the BlueGreen Alliance.