Posts Tagged ‘Public sector jobs’

‘Starving the beast’: public sector jobs decline

November 19, 2015

jobs_recovery_comparison_public.

public-sector-jobs-gap1.pngClick on Economic Policy Institute for details (hat tip to Bill Harvey)

One of the reasons for the weakness of the current economic recovery is the loss of public sector jobs—mainly in state and local governments, including school districts.

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Government austerity and the economy

June 29, 2012

In other recessions since World War Two, government employment was stable, and helped stabilize the economy.  Not this time.

Mike Konczal said the cutbacks are mainly a result of conservative Republican ideology, which asserts that government services are unnecessary.  Just one state, Texas, accounts for 31 percent of the loss in government jobs.  The 11 states the Republicans won in the 2010 elections account for slightly over 40 percent.  That’s a total of more than 70 percent.

Now it’s true that this recession is the worst since the Great Depression of the 1930s, and it also is true that many state governments have constitutional requirements for balanced budgets.  But fewer than a quarter of the states account for more than 70 percent of public sector job cuts.   This indicates that the recession is being used as an excuse by right-wing Republicans who are hostile to public services on principle.

Click on Public Sector Layoffs and the Battle Between Obama and Conservative States for Mike Konczal’s full analysis on the Next New Deal, the blog of the Roosevelt Institute.

Click on America’s Hidden Austerity Program for more from Ben Polack and Peter K. Schott, two Yale University economists.

Hat tip for the graphic to The Big Picture.

Bad news and (not so) good news on jobs

October 11, 2010

The good news is that private sector jobs are increasing, no longer declining.  The U.S. economy gained 64,000 private sector jobs in September, and that’s the ninth month in a row of job growth.

But the U.S. economy has lost 8 million jobs since the start of the recession.  According to Paul Krugman, you would need to add 300,000 jobs a month – including the 125,000 needed to keep up with population growth – to get back to 5 percent unemployment in five years.

Also in September, the U.S. lost 159,000 government jobs.  Most of these were Census workers who’d completed their tasks, but there also were 76,000 employees of state and local governments.

Now government doesn’t determine how many private sector jobs there are.  But it does determine how many government jobs there are.  It doesn’t make sense to lay off public workers during a recession.  It’s important to maintain vital public services – schools, libraries, maintenance of roads, water systems and sewerage systems – in good times and bad.

Beyond that, public sector layoffs are an anti-stimulus program.  Laid-off school teachers and firefighters stop buying goods and services, which leads to less business activity and job growth in the private sector.

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