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State Jobs Picture Darker Than We Thought

March 8, 2013

States’ and localities’ ability to provide public services has been damaged even more deeply in recent years than experts had thought, today’s jobs report indicates — and federal funding cuts are making it even harder for states to recover.

States and localities lost another 10,000 jobs in February, with three-quarters of the job...

North Carolina’s Costly Cut in Jobless Benefits

February 14, 2013

North Carolina, where unemployment is over 9 percent, is close to enacting a breathtaking cut in jobless benefits that would surely prove extremely harmful for unemployed workers — and very bad for the state’s economy.  The proposal would:

  • Slash regular state unemployment insurance (UI) benefits by nearly three-quarters. The proposal cuts the maximum
  • ...

What Deeper Cuts in “Non-Defense Discretionary Funding” Would Mean for States and Localities

December 21, 2012

If budget negotiators agree on a deficit-reduction deal, it could well include more cuts to the federal budget category that includes most grants to states and localities outside of Medicaid, on top of nearly $900 billion in cuts already enacted.  But, there’s been little public discussion about how exactly further cuts would...

Kansas Offers Unintended Lesson to Governors Considering Tax Cuts

December 11, 2012

Governors are preparing their budgets for next year and a number of them (those in Indiana, Iowa, and Maine, for example) are considering major tax cuts.

They ought to take heed of what’s going on in Kansas.

Governor Sam Brownback, who last year pushed through a massive income tax cut that he claimed would provide a “...

For States, Alternatives to “Fiscal Cliff” Could Be Even Worse

November 16, 2012

Today’s report from the Pew Center on the States rightly notes that “sequestration” — the across-the-board federal budget cuts scheduled to begin January 2 — has major implications for states.  But it fails to make a fundamental point:  the alternatives could be even worse.

If federal policymakers avoid...

Education Jobs on the Rebound

November 2, 2012

Today’s jobs report shows that schools are starting — finally — to recover from the effects of the recession.  But the news isn’t so good for other state and local workers.

While school districts cut 2,900 jobs in October, today’s report also included revised figures for previous months showing that schools have added nearly 77,000 jobs since the end of the last school...

State and Local Governments Shed Another 10,000 Jobs in August

September 7, 2012

State and local governments cut another 10,000 jobs in August, according to today’s jobs report, which means that they’ve now cut 716,000 jobs since August 2008 (see chart).  While they imposed their steepest losses in 2009 and 2010, the cuts unfortunately have been all too consistent:  they’ve cut workers in 20 of the last 24 months...

House Budget Far Costlier to States Than Expanding Medicaid

September 6, 2012

The Supreme Court’s June ruling upholding health reform (the Affordable Care Act, or ACA) gives states the choice of expanding their Medicaid programs to cover most non-elderly individuals up to 133 percent of the federal poverty line.  Despite the benefits of the expansion, some...

Unbalanced Deficit-Reduction Package Would Slash Funds to States and Localities

August 8, 2012

As we explain in a new analysis, a deficit-reduction plan that lacks significant revenues would almost certainly deeply cut federal funds that support states and localities as they educate children, build roads and bridges, protect public health, and provide law enforcement.

Policymakers generally agree...

K-12 Schools Continue to Shed Jobs

August 3, 2012

Today’s jobs report shows that local school districts continue to struggle with job losses.  After school districts cut 7,000 positions in July, they now have 321,000 fewer teachers and other staff than they did when employment peaked in August 2008.  As the graph below shows, local education jobs have been falling for four years. ...