Quick, somebody slide this USA Today article across President Obama’s desk! Today could be a pretty grim day for him, and he could use cheering up.
Remember when Obama said “the private sector is doing fine,” but all of America’s economic problems revolve around a withering public sector? Everyone knows he was hilariously wrong about the private sector, but it turns out he was wrong about the public sector, too.
“In a rare bright sign for the job market,” says USA Today, “state and local governments are hiring at the fastest pace in four years. States, cities, counties and school districts hired 828,000 workers in the first four months of the year, up 20% from a year earlier, and the most since 2008, according to a USA TODAY analysis of the government’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. The number of job openings at state and local governments also hit a four-year high.”
This is attributed to a surge in state and local government tax collection, even though overall revenue is flat, because “extra federal aid is drying up.” The federal money often goes to outside vendors, however, while local governments spend their direct revenues to hire local public employees. They had to trim their staff a bit – about 3 percent nationwide – during recent lean times, but now they’re hiring back to full strength. And unlike most of the puny increases in private-sector job creation under Barack Obama, these aren’t part-time jobs!
“The recent jump in hiring is an early signal that job growth may be on the way, at least in government,” predicts USA Today. That should come as a huge relief for anyone worried that government was getting too small.