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State and Local Job Losses Continue

November 4, 2011

October’s employment report finds that states and localities continue to lay people off.

State and local governments cut 22,000 jobs last month, the 31st month out of the last 38 in which total state and local employment shrank. States and localities have cut 644,000 jobs since August 2008.

Education Jobs Still Disappearing

October 7, 2011

The nation’s schools shed 24,000 jobs in September, continuing a troubling and accelerating trend, according to today’s Labor Department jobs report.

In the last three years, schools have cut 278,000 jobs, with over 40 percent of the job cuts occurring in the last year.

Building a Better Future for Unemployment Insurance

September 30, 2011

Most states have taken out federal loans to help pay for the surge in unemployment insurance (UI) benefits caused by the sharply higher unemployment of the past few years, and the first round of interest payments on those loans comes due today. Because the UI system is funded through business taxes, states are financing these payments mostly by raising the taxes paid by employers.

Saving School Jobs

September 9, 2011

The jobs plan President Obama announced last night includes a promising proposal to help get the economy moving and build a stronger future: support for schools to retain and hire teachers and other employees.

CBO: Up to 2.9 Million People Owe Their Jobs to the Recovery Act

August 30, 2011

A new Congressional Budget Office analysis finds that the 2009 Recovery Act (ARRA) is continuing to save jobs and protect the economy from what would have been a much deeper recession. As we describe in an updated analysis, in the second quarter of 2011 the Recovery Act:

Why Some State Economies Are Healthier Than Others

August 24, 2011

Almost all states were hit hard by the recession and are recovering very slowly, but a few — most notably Alaska, North Dakota, and Texas – experienced only a mild recession and/or are recovering more rapidly. Do these states’ tax and spending policies explain why they avoided the same economic fate of other states, as some have suggested? Actually no, according to a new analysis by Goldman Sachs.*

What really mattered, the analysis found, were three things:

It’s Raining, So States Should Use Their Rainy Day Funds

July 29, 2011

As our survey of states’ new 2012 budgets explains, many states are making unnecessarily harsh cuts this year in services like education and health care. In five states — Louisiana, New Mexico, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Texas — those cuts are particularly unwarranted because these states are sitting on substantial “rainy day” budget reserve funds, equaling at least 5 percent of last year’s spending (see graph). The result? More sweeping budget cuts that will weaken public services and slow economic growth.

States Beating Federal Budget Negotiators to the Punch

July 15, 2011

Federal budget negotiators are considering sizeable cuts to Medicaid as part of a deal to raise the debt limit, but some states are beating them to the punch.

State and Local Job Losses Are Largest Since 1955

July 8, 2011

The gloomy employment report for June included the news that state and local governments laid off 25,000 workers.  Since shortly after the recession began, they have cut 577,000 jobs — the largest loss since the Labor Department started keeping track in 1955. These devastating layoffs are slowing the economic recovery. ...

So Far, So Bad for States’ 2012 Budgets

June 28, 2011

About two-thirds of states have enacted budgets for the 2012 fiscal year (which begins on Friday in most states), and the news to date isn’t encouraging: most states are making substantial cuts to services that will slow the economic recovery and undermine efforts to create jobs.