off the charts
POLICY INSIGHT
BEYOND THE NUMBERS

State and Local Jobs Far Below Pre-Recession Level

| By Chris Mai
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 work but don’t have a job.  Second, the number of government jobs remains well below pre-recession levels.  State and local employment, for example, remains more than 450,000 jobs below the December 2007 level (see graph).
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The large losses in government jobs are symptomatic of the sharp cutbacks in state and local spending that have slowed the recovery from the Great Recession.