How budget-cutting eliminates government jobs, in one graph

at 02:28 PM ET, 08/03/2011

Forced by law to balance their budgets, many states have already made huge spending cuts since the beginning of the recession. But in terms of public-sector jobs, it’s mostly local governments that have taken the biggest hit.

The graph below shows the total change in the number of government jobs, in the hundreds of thousands, from December 2007 through June 11, based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The loss of local government jobs is largely due to the withdrawal of state support, according to Chad Stone, chief economist at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, who put together the graph. (The temporary spike in federal jobs was due to temporary Census hiring.) Altogether, since August 2008, both state and local governments have lost 577,000 jobs. And the debt-ceiling deal pretty much ensures that the pain will continue.
(SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics data, compiled by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities)

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