State Unemployment Rates Stay High, Public Sector Leading Downward Momentum
June 18, 2012 1:37 pm
Friday saw the release of State Employment statistics by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the May numbers did little to brighten the overall employment picture. The unemployment rate rose in more than a third of the U.S. — 18 states — remained static in 18 states, and decreased in 14. By contrast, April had unemployment rates falling in 37 states.
California, Nevada and Rhode Island continue to suffer unemployment rates of over 10%, with Nevada leading the nation at 11.6%, followed by California’s 11% and Rhode Island’s 10.8%. Michigan has bucked national trends by adding 47,000 jobs in the past three months. The beleaguered state received a much needed economic boost from the federal propping up of the US Auto Market (which, along with UAW wage concessions, has directly led to longer hours and more hiring at Michigan Auto Plans and their attendant suppliers).
The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) suggests that the federal and state government’s continued application of pressure to the organized public sector has stalled overall job growth.
From EPI :
“The continued erosion of public-sector employment highlights the extent to which policymakers at both the national and state levels have undermined economic recovery through shortsighted austerity measures. While teachers, police and firefighters have been bearing the brunt of these cuts, we all have suffered from the resulting drag on the economy.”
If one thing is clear from the report, it is that an all-out war on public sector unions following Wisconsin governor Scott Walker’s victory in the recent recall election could drag states further into the doldrums.