How Government Gridlock is Actively Hurting the Economy

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Most reporting on today’s employment report will lead with the fact
that the economy added 80,000 jobs in June. But that number combines two
distinct sectors of the economy—jobs added in the private sector and
jobs lost in government. Employment growth in the private sector
reflects how businesses feel about the economy. And while the rate of
growth is moderate, it is steady and broad-based, with most industries
adding jobs.

By contrast, the public sector continues to shed jobs. This is the
direct result of deliberate policy decisions to get rid of teachers,
firefighters, and police officers, and other valuable workers essential
to our communities. Over the last year, governments have shed a total of
169,000. The previous year was even worse, as governments shed 626,000
workers. If we still had all of these jobs today our national
unemployment rate would be between a half and a full point lower.

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