The labor market continued its modest rate of expansion in July, according to today’s employment report. Employers added 163,000 jobs last month, the largest increase since February. The unemployment rate remained essentially unchanged at 8.3 percent.
A notable aspect of the July employment report is the decline in public-sector employment. In fact, public-sector employment (i.e. federal, state, and local government jobs) declined in 10 of the past 12 months, in sharp contrast to 29 consecutive months of private-sector job growth. Indeed, falling public employment has been among the largest contributors to unemployment in the United States since the end of the Great Recession.
In this month’s employment analysis, The Hamilton Project examines public-sector employment trends over the last three decades and finds that government employment contracted, both in absolute numbers and as a share of the population, during the Great Recession and throughout the current recovery. Additionally, we report on the results of a new analysis that finds that the cuts in public school teachers are projected to reduce the future earnings of today’s students by more than five times as much as the current budget savings.
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