Feature

A bright spot in a lackluster jobs report

State governments have been adding jobs for two straight months.

Daniel Gross
TheDailyBeast.com

Another month, another disappointing jobs report, said Daniel Gross. It’s a pattern we’ve become familiar with: Almost every month since early 2010, the Labor Department has told us that the private sector has added jobs, while the public -sector—state, local, and federal government—has cut them. Well, at the very least, this month’s report confirms that “the fiscal picture in states and cities has been brightening.” While sequester cuts, furloughs, and an obsession with reduced spending have kept “a lid on federal employment,” dozens of states are reporting surpluses as the result of tax increases, fiscal reforms, and economic growth. That’s given them the means to “hire or rehire teachers, police officers, and other workers.” State governments have now been adding jobs for two straight months, creating twice as many—22,000—in September as they did in August. Local governments are faring even better; they’ve been on a six-month hiring streak, adding 74,000 positions since February. Analysts, of course, will continue to decry the latest jobs data as tepid, and rightly so: No one can contest that “our labor market is still in a relatively deep funk.” But at least now we are beginning to see “glimmers that the weights holding down job growth are lifting.”

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