Local government sheds jobs in June

Recent employment numbers point to a loss in government jobs at every level.

The decline in temporary census workers accounted for much of last month’s decline in the region.

But when June’s numbers are broken down by state, Sheila Watkins, the regional commissioner for the Bureau of Labor Statistics, says local cuts may be more pronounced.

Watkins explains what she’s seen so far of this trend in the region. “Well I did notice that while losses in the government employment for Philadelphia and Wilmington were due mostly to the federal government, local government accounted for over 60 percent of the job loss in the Camden metropolitan area,” she says.

Jim Diffley’s, chief regional economist with IHS global insight, says June’s numbers indicate “very, very, very, weak job growth. Pitifully small at this stage of an economic recovery.”The federal government cut 14,000 jobs, while state governments slashed 25,000. And nearly three quarters of those local cuts came in education.  When state-by-state numbers are released later this month, the Philadelphia School District will account for at least 1,360 of those losses. Diffley says with June marking the end of the fiscal year, timing is everything.”State and local are very much pinched with the fiscal crisis following the recession,” he says. “The way revenues come in and the way expenditures come out means states take longer to recover than anybody else. This mismatch lags the rest of the economy so even as the rest of the economy is growing they’re behind it anyway and they’re a leading drag on the economy right now.” Overall, the state and local government employment rate is at its lowest since 2006. 

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