President Obama pointed out last week that job losses among state and local governments are slowing the recovery. The graph shows what he's talking about: states and localities have shed 662,000 jobs since employment in this area peaked in August 2008.
A couple of other points are worth noting:
- When measured as a share of the population, the number of state and local government jobs has fallen in 37 of the last 40 months.
- The number of state and local jobs outside of education (in other words, law enforcement, parks, transportation, and so on) is the lowest it's been since June 1985, as a share of the population.
And, due to the services that states and localities provide -- education, public safety, health care, and the like -- these job losses also can have a real impact on residents' quality of life.