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 and localities have slowly begun to rehire in the past two years (see graph), the number of public employees remains far below six years ago. Meanwhile, the demands on states and localities continue to grow. For example, public elementary and secondary schools have 492,000 more students than before the recession.