Saturday, June 7, 2014

Public Job Cuts = Drag on Recovery

Dec. 2007 employment level equals 1

Government Employment Still Hasn't Recovered
by David Leonhardt
New York Times  June 6, 2014

The United States economy has finally exceeded its pre-recession employment peak, as many analysts of today’s jobs report have noted. But the public sector — federal, state and local government — still isn’t close to returning to its pre-recession employment levels.

Many state and local governments cut jobs sharply to deal with budget deficits during the recession. The federal government also employs somewhat fewer people than it did in December 2007. Government employment is still 2.3% lower than when the recession began. The recent cuts in government jobs stand in stark contrast to the government’s expansion in the wake of the recessions in the 1980s and 1990s.

If the government hadn’t done so much cutting over the last several years, the job market would almost certainly be healthier today.