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Posts by Chris Mai

Big Gains for State and Local Employment in June

July 3, 2014

State and local government employment had a big month in June, rising by 24,000 jobs according to today’s jobs report.  Most of the gains came in K-12 school districts, which added 18,000 jobs.

The number of state and local public employees has been trending upward since the end of 2012 (see chart), with job...

State and Local Jobs Far Below Pre-Recession Level

June 6, 2014

The economy hit a milestone of sorts last month, as payroll employment finally topped its pre-recession level.  But there are two important caveats.

First, as we’ve pointed out, the growth in the working-age population since the recession started means that many more people today want to...

Kansas' Projections Show Tax Cuts Aren’t Paying Off as Predicted

May 14, 2014

When Kansas enacted a major tax cut in 2012, many state lawmakers predicted it would spur economic growth.  Instead, economic performance in Kansas has been unimpressive, and updated projections from its Division of the Budget offer no...

State and Local Jobs Climbing out of Deep Hole

May 2, 2014

State and local governments added 18,000 jobs in April, according to today’s jobs report, and have added 43,000 jobs since the start of 2014.  This is great news given the steep loss of public jobs due to the Great Recession.

Yet, while states...

The Top 5 (Okay, 6) State Tax Charts

April 14, 2014

As we approach Tax Day, here are six charts focusing on state taxes.

More than half of state tax dollars go to fund education (K-12 and higher education) and health care, as the chart below shows.  State tax dollars also fund other critical services such as transportation, corrections, public assistance, care for residents with disabilities, police, state parks, and...

Just the Basics: Where Our State Tax Dollars Go

April 11, 2014

As Tax Day approaches, we’ve updated several backgrounders that explain how the federal government and states collect and spend tax dollars.  As policymakers and citizens weigh key decisions on how best to shape our future government, it’s helpful to examine where the dollars that comprise the budget come from and where they go.

The final installment in our series of...

States’ Sluggish Recovery Continues

April 4, 2014

State tax collections have finally reached their pre-recession levels, according to new data from the Census Bureau.  Those collections are now 0.4 percent higher than six years ago, after adjusting for inflation.  This news is welcome, but not cause for celebration.

The recession of 2007-09 caused deep, sustained and...

Jobs Report Shows More Local School Job Losses

February 7, 2014

Local school districts have cut hundreds of thousands of positions over the past few years and the trend is continuing, today’s jobs report shows.  Though job losses have slowed in the past two years, local governments shed 9,000 education jobs in January and have cut 40,000 jobs since the start of the school year.

Schools Lose 15,000 Jobs in December, Extending Damage Since Recession Hit

January 10, 2014

Today’s jobs report finds that local school districts cut 15,000 jobs for teachers, principals, and other school employees in December — a painful reminder that the recession is far from over for the nation’s schools.

Schools have cut about 300,000 jobs since the start of the recession.  Yet, the number of students they are expected to educate has increased by about 800,...

State Tax Revenues Close in on Milestone But Have a Long Road Ahead

November 7, 2013

First, the good news:  new Census Bureau data show that state tax revenues have returned almost to pre-recession levels, after adjusting for inflation.  It’s taken over five years since the recession started for that to happen, much longer than in previous recessions (see chart).