“At the local level, Scott Walker’s victory in Wisconsin has shined a bright light on the role public employees – and benefits and pensions – play in state budget deficits,” according to
“The number of public employees has dropped in Wisconsin after Walker’s reforms. And it’s dropped in other states too.
“But – and here’s the rub for President Obama – those same drops in public sector employment are contributing to the tepid job creation that’s standing in the way of his reelection.
“It was actually the public, not the private, sector that shed thousands of jobs in May. While private businesses hired 82,000 people last month, federal, state and local governments wiped 13,000 employees from the payroll, according to Labor Department data.
“’The government is actually contributing to the slow recovery,’ said Scott Brown, the chief economist at the Florida-based financial firm Raymond James & Associates.
“Brown said that if it were not for the “drag” of this public sector job loss, the economy would likely be growing a full percentage point faster, with GDP growing at 3 percent rather than at 2 percent.”
“That would help mop up the jobs lost during the downturn,” he said. “Factor in the drag from government and we are growing at a pace that’s roughly enough to absorb the growth in population but not fast enough to make up much of the ground lost.”
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