Local Government Job Losses Hurt Entire Economy

Source: Ethan Pollack, Economic Policy Institute, Issue Brief #279, May 27, 2010

From the summary:
Although recent economic indicators suggest a turnaround, much of the economy is still struggling, and these elements could keep unemployment high. Local governments in particular have suffered from the recession, which has led to massive budget gaps caused by a combination of depressed tax revenues and higher costs from a social safety net that more and more Americans are forced to rely on.

These budget gaps will translate into a loss of jobs, over half of which have yet to occur. Unlike the federal government, most local governments must balance their budgets each year. This means, among other things, that vital local public servants like teachers, firefighters, and police are a target of budget cuts and could be laid off. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 180,000 local public-sector jobs have already been lost since August 2008.

And it will get worse–much worse.

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