Cut Loose: State and Local Layoffs of Public Employees in the Current Recession

Source: Matt Sherman and Nathan Lane, Center for Economic and Policy Research, Issue Brief, September 2009

In the current recession, millions of Americans have lost their jobs. Unemployment has increased nationwide to levels not witnessed since the 1980s. Much of the job loss has occurred in private industries, but the public sector has also felt the sting of layoffs. Decreasing tax revenues and expanding budget deficits have forced public officials to make difficult decisions regarding their payroll. According to our analysis, more than 110,000 jobs have been shed from state and local governments in the last two years. This number includes over 40,000 teachers as well as nearly 4,000 uniformed police officers and firefighters.
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