Why are the feds axing jobs in NYC?

The argument goes like this. One reason that the nation’s economic recovery has been disappointing is that local and state governments have been cutting so many jobs, offsetting the gains by private employers—which are doing “fine” or not so “fine,” depending on how the President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Gov. Mitt Romney want to characterize it.

The question I wondered about is that story line true in new York?

The national situation was well covered on Wednesday in a new York Times story headlined “Public workers face continued layoffs hurting the recovery,” which included this key chart. two numbers stand out.  The public sector has shed 657,000 jobs since it peaked in April 2009. (Remember, government employment went up in the early part of the recession because of the flood of money the Obama stimulus provided to state and local governments). If government accounted for the same percentage of jobs as in 2009, the nation’s unemployment rate would be a full percentage point lower.

Government jobs are disappearing in new York City, too, with about 16,500 positions, or 3% of the sector’s total, leaving during the city’s strong economic recovery. but it is not state and local governments that are wielding the axe aggressively, according to figures from economist Barbara Denham at Eastern Consolidated. The federal government is abandoning new York. (See the chart below.)

Ms. Denham says her numbers factor out the temporary census hiring. Nationally, federal employment declined only 1.8% during the same period.

I don’t actually know what’s happening with federal workers, but maybe someone can enlighten us all. Email me at gregdavid49@gmail.com.

Why are the feds axing jobs in NYC?


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