Public Employment Job Losses a Drag on Economy

Add this to the list of reasons that the economic recovery is limping along. Our friends at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities explain:

July’s employment report included more bad news from states and localities:  job losses are continuing. Since August 2008, state and local governments have slashed 611,000 positions, and the cuts have been getting worse — 340,000 of those jobs were lost in the last 12 months. July was the ninth consecutive month, and the 29th out of the last 35, in which total state and local employment shrank.

  Three Years of State and Local Job Losses  

And we haven't seen the last of the public sector job cuts. As the Center notes, many states have enacted new state budgets that make deep spending cuts sure to reduce public employment that much more.

So where are we seeing the most cuts? Cities, counties and other local governments, along with local school districts, account for the lion's share:

  • Local school districts have cut 229,000 positions.
  • Cities, counties, and other local governments have cut 237,000 positions.
  • State governments have cut 145,000 positions.

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