A couple of recent articles jumped out at me, made me curious to hear the Org's take.
First there's this one, about how weird the recent recovery has been in relation to other post-recession bounce-backs. Essentially, every other time in recent U.S. history, public sector has led the way with job creation. This time? Public sector job cuts are slowing us down. A bit of detail:
Public sector employment has fallen sharply in the wake of The Great Recession, which is markedly different from every other recession of the past 35 years, according to a new analysis from the Economic Policy Institute.
Government jobs held steady between December 2007, when the downturn began, and September 2009, when it officially ended. That was largely due to beefed up aid to state and local governments contained in the Obama administration’s $787 billion stimulus package. When that disappeared, so did more than 600,000 state and local teacher, police, firefighter and other public sector jobs, which added about a half percentage point to the overall unemployment rate.
Which president’s economic recovery benefited most from an increasing number of government jobs? Oddly enough, it was President Ronald Reagan, who successfully ran for re-election in 1984 by proclaiming it was “morning in America.” Reagan, running in a year when unemployment fell over a percentage point to 7.5 percent, is generally (and incorrectly) remembered as the first conservative president to dramatically shrink the size and role of government.
Interestingly, only 13% of those public job losses were on the Federal level. And the majority of states didn't go on firing binges; if you run the numbers, twelve states were responsible for 70% of the total public sector job cuts. Detail:
Of the eleven states in which Republicans came into power in 2010 – Alabama, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – five were among the seven states that lost more than 2.5 percent of their workforce from December 2010 to December 2011. [...]
Overall, these 1 states were responsible for 40 percent of the total state and local public sector job losses in 2011. Add to these Texas, which because of its large size is responsible for 31 percent of the total at the state and local level. Taken together, these 12 red states drove over 70 percent of the total losses. The rest of the states suffered much smaller losses or even slight gains.