Bombshell New Study Shows How Republicans Are To Blame For The Worst Layoffs In 2011

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Photo: Daniel Goodman / Business Insider

A point we’ve made several times throughout the “recovery” is that contrary to popular perception, it’s the private sector where jobs have been created at a robust pace, while the public sector has been steadily shedding jobs.A new paper (.pdf) from Mike Konczal sheds new light on the political dimension here.

Basically, the state and local job cuts aren’t evenly spread across the states.

Instead they’re the most dense in GOP states, and in particular, states where the GOP claimed power in 2010.

Here are three key findings from the report:

• There was a 1.2 per cent decline in 2011 in the number of public employees, the largest yearly decline of the Obama presidency and one of the largest on record. Public employment declined 2.6 per cent over the last three years, the highest on record. This has had a significant drag on the economy as a whole.

• Most of these losses were at the state level, but they weren’t spread out evenly across all states. The 2011 losses were concentrated in just 12. The 11 states that the Republicans took over during the 2010 midterm elections – Alabama, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin – account for 40.5 per cent of the total losses. By itself, Texas accounts for an additional 31 per cent of the total losses. The remaining states make up the rest.

• The 11 states that the Republicans took over in 2010 laid off, on average, 2.5 per cent of their government workforces in a single year. This is compared to the overall average of 0.5 per cent for the rest of the states.

This table, which you can click to enlarge, breaks it down nicely.


Photo: Roosevelt Institute

It’s possible to see some objections. One argument right off the bat is that many conservatives have specifically run on shrinking the size of government, and so this is a good thing. Or perhaps more simply, the argument could be made that it was precisely because of “bloated” government that Republicans won in these states with a mandate to slash jobs

But regardless, it seems pretty clear that states with a reddish tilt bear a disproportionate burden for the cuts.

Konczal has a new article on this topic in The Nation, which you can see here >

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