September 22, 2021

U.S. local government hiring picks up after touching two-decade low

U.S. state and local government hiring has been on an uptrend for the past few months after hitting a 19-year low in the spring.

Governments hired 230,000 people in July, according to the Labor Department, marking the fifth-straight monthly increase. That’s still a small step toward regaining the roughly 1.3 million jobs shed in 2020 at the height of the pandemic panic.

Source: St. Louis Fed, Labor Department

Public finance professionals watch municipal hiring carefully because it was such a big drag on the recovery from the Great Recession of 2008. State and local governments didn’t stop shedding jobs until late 2012, a year and a half after the recession ended, and didn’t regain their pre-Great Recession levels until late 2019, as previously reported.

Many analysts believe that state and local government austerity was responsible for the slow, tepid growth in the wake of that downturn.

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