State and local governments have shed 1.5 million jobs in pandemic

State and local governments have hemorrhaged 1.5 million jobs since February, the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) reports. Nine states lost more than one in 10 state and local government jobs, and in 17 states, more than 10% of jobs in education were lost. But that’s just a down payment on the carnage that’s coming if Senate Republicans continue standing in the way of the needed aid to state and local governments—up to 5.3 million jobs could be lost.

“By not providing federal aid, policymakers would also be sentencing the economy to a prolonged depression, like the one caused by the budget cuts imposed in the aftermath of the Great Recession,” EPI’s Julia Wolfe and Melat Kassa write. “We should heed the lessons learned from the last recovery, namely that public-sector cuts translated into private-sector job losses, and that states that did not take the path of austerity had a much stronger recovery.”

This blog originally appeared at Daily Kos on August 1, 2020. Reprinted with permission.

About the Author: Laura Clawson has been a Daily Kos contributing editor since December 2006. Full-time staff since 2011, currently assistant managing editor.

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