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State and local government employment rates not as grim as private sector

According to a Rockefeller Institute report just released, state and local jobs have risen somewhat during the recession, as private sector employment fell. Don’t get too excited just yet. The same report suggests that cuts are coming and at a greater number than in previous years.

State and local governments have been reducing hiring and laying off workers. New hiring in the most recent quarter is 20 percent below its level of two years earlier, while layoffs and discharges are up 33 percent.

Although state and local government layoffs in the current recession appear to have occurred on a smaller scale than in the private sector, the report warns against reading too much into the spikes and declines in such a study. Ordinarily many government employees eventually quit their jobs to attempt to find greater opportunities in other positions, however during these tumultuous times they are less likely to make that leap. The result is that the number of voluntary “quits,” as the study puts it, fall, making it harder for private sector or government employers to achieve employment reduction goals through attrition. Table 4 details how the decreasing number of opportunities due to attrition affects the overall available job rate.

Texas, along with Alaska, Colorado, Mississippi, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Washington, had employment growth in both education and noneducation jobs at both the state and local level. The study notes that “at least 20 states have required state government employees to go on furlough for one or more days” in an effort to reduce payroll costs. You will be happy to find that Texas is not on that list. While the government sector employments might not be cause for celebration, compared to the private sector they are enough to give employees some sense of stability.

What does this mean for Texan Republicans?  It means that the job outlook, while a tad better in the government sector, is still not promising.  It appears that the promised "269,000 saved or created jobs in Texas" have little to do with the emergency stimulus bill that was rushed through by Democrats and much more to do with employees being afraid to take any risk with regard to changing employment.  If they have a job, they are holding tight to it.  This may be the Democrats' idea of "saving" jobs, but it doesn't help the hundreds of thousands who are eager to fill open positions.

For More Info:

Read the News Release from The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute.

View the Full Report here.

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