The unemployment rate on U.S. railroads is the highest in the world, according to data compiled by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
The U.s. unemployment rate climbed to 6.8 percent in January, up from 6.6 percent in December, the data showed.
The U. is also the second-highest-unemployment-producing country, behind only France.
U.S.-based railroad companies have been struggling with low commodity prices and the U. S. government’s ongoing debt-ceiling crisis.
Rail companies are grappling with a shrinking workforce that is struggling to keep up with rising costs.
The federal government has slashed subsidies for rail projects, including railroads.
Fossil fuel companies are also battling the decline in oil and gas jobs.
The government has cut funding for coal and natural gas power plants, as well as coal-fired power plants.
In a letter to the White House, the American Federation of Labor called for a ban on the Keystone XL pipeline and a moratorium on the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline, which would transport oil from North Dakota to Illinois.
The union said the pipelines would “divert resources from domestic oil production to foreign countries that have the means to pay for their own imports.”