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August 20, 2009
One healthy sector of the economy
We've shed 7 million jobs in the last few months but you'd never know it, if you went by how much government has expanded during that period.
Michael Cooper of the New York Times has the story:
While the private sector has shed 6.9 million jobs since the beginning of the recession, state and local governments have expanded their payrolls and added 110,000 jobs, according to a report to be issued Thursday by the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government.
The report, based on an analysis of federal jobs data, found that state and local governments steadily added jobs for eight months after the recession began in December 2007, with their employment peaking last August. State and local governments have since lost 55,000 jobs, but from the beginning of the recession through last month they gained a net of 110,000 jobs, the report found, in part because of the federal stimulus program.
Government jobs are always more stable than private sector jobs during downturns, but their ability to weather the current deep recession startled Donald J. Boyd, the senior fellow at the institute who wrote the report.
"I am a little surprised at the fact that state and local government has remained as stable as it has in the nation as a whole, given the depth of the current recession," Mr. Boyd said in an interview.
The report listed several possible reasons why even in the most severe economic downturn in decades, government work rolls are expanding. The one that makes the most sense to me is the stimulus money Obama and the Democrats are throwing around. No doubt one of the goals of the Democrats was to keep their union supporters in government gainfully employed so that they can show their gratitude at the ballot box.