22 states have increased government jobs since the start of the downturn

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Thursday, October 27, 2011 at 2:27 pm | More from The New Mexico Independent

New Mexico has added 100 government jobs since 2007, making it one of 22 states to have added rather than lost government jobs since the start of the economic crisis in 2007. The New Mexico Business Weekly reports on an On Numbers study of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data showing that while “New Mexico is one of the states that has added jobs… it is tied for the least amount of government job growth with Kentucky” since the start of the recession.

Texas, the home of Republican presidential candidate Gov. Rick Perry, has had the most net government job growth since the start of 2007, adding 76,000 federal, state and local government jobs. The increasing public sector workforce is a partial explanation for the “Texas miracle” that Perry has touted on the campaign trail.

California has lost the most government jobs, a net total of 116,600.

The following graph from the St. Louis Federal Reserve, which shows total government employment in New Mexico since 2007, reveals that public-sector jobs in the state have been decreasing since they peaked in 2010 while the U.S. Census was underway.

Government job losses have been a nationwide trend in the past year, due in large part to state governments cutting spending in order to balance their budgets. New economic growth figures released by the Commerce Department today show that U.S. Gross Domestic Product grew at an annualized rate of 2.5 percent over the summer, a slight increase from earlier in the year. However, the increase came in spite of  state and local government budget cuts, which reduced total government spending by 1.3 percent and were a net drag on GDP growth.

This graph shows the rate of change of all government vs. all private sector jobs in the United States since the start of 2011.

As the graph shows, 2011 has been a year of slow but steady increases in private sector jobs, which have been offset by a persistent decline in the number of government jobs. While New Mexico and other states have increased the number of government jobs, it hasn’t been enough to make up for other states’ huge public sector job losses.

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