Public Sector Employment Is Stuck in the Doldrums

A big fat zero. That’s how many jobs the public sector added in June. Zero.

To be clear, zero is better than a negative number, which is what we saw for most of the recession. It looks like public sector job losses finally turned a corner in 2014, when the economy added 74,000 public sector jobs. But growth has flattened out in 2015, adding only 8,000 jobs so far this year.

As a direct result of austerity policy, public sector jobs are still nearly half a million down from where they were before the recession began. Moreover, this fails to account for the fact that we would have expected these jobs to grow with the population–taking that into consideration, the economy is short 1.8 million public sector jobs. This shortfall in public sector jobs in turn removes the multiplier effect on private sector demand, snowballing into an even slower recovery.