Since the beginning of 2010, approximately 1.3 million government workers have lost their jobs. Most of these jobs are at the state and local levels and have affected women more so than men.
The initial payouts from the stimulus bill passed in the spring of 2009 went to state and local governments to help them cope with declining tax revenues. This federal support (all of it borrowed) helped to soften the effect of the recession on women earners, leading some observers to call the recession a “mancession”. The unemployment rate for men shot up far above that for women.
As stimulus spending declined in 2010, government workers, particularly teachers, lost their jobs as state and local governments made hard choices to balance their budgets.
Have they gone too far? Below is the ratio of total population served by each government worker and it is at a historic high.
Each government worker is “servicing” one extra person more than the thirty year average of just under 15 people per worker. Second only to the law of gravity is the law of averages; we will return to average, resulting in an increase in government jobs. Politics is a bloodsport. In the coming years, Republican politicians in office will take credit for the inevitable addition of these government jobs as the “result of our pro-growth policies” when it is anything but. The reality is that Republican political leaders and strategists wanted to choke off funding for government jobs while the other party was in power. The individual carnage of unemployment serves the aims of those desiring political power. Should Republicans take the Presidency and make gains in the Senate in the upcoming elections, they will stuff their rhetoric about limited government in their pockets, then announce that – surprise, surprise – the job cuts at the state and local levels have been too much. The spending spree will continue.