Whether the US is about to plunge into a double-dip recession or just on an incredibly long road to recovery, one thing’s for sure: the public sector is getting eaten alive.
Since August 2008, state and local governments have cut some 611,000 employees, according to estimates by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The cuts have only gotten worse over time, with 340,000 of the job losses coming in the past twelve months:
The fact that state-level belt-tightening increased as the Great Recession was allegedly coming to a close suggests that, for many states, recovery was never as close as optimists had claimed. It gets worse: The debt ceiling deal President Barack Obama signed on August 2 made sharp cuts to discretionary spending, the main source of aid for states. The public sector's woes are far from over.