Don't look to state and local governments to prop up the job market.Nationally, the number of state employees peaked at 5.2 million in August 2008, and the number of local government employees peaked at 14.6 million in September 2008. Since then, state governments have shed 100,000 jobs, while local governments have shed 450,000.
To the contrary, this cash-strapped sector is set to go on a record-breaking layoff binge when the new fiscal year starts on July 1.
State and local governments are forecast to shed up to 110,000 jobs in the third quarter, the first time the blood-letting has risen into the triple digits, according to IHS Global Insight.
Parents and students will feel the cuts in terms of more-crowded classrooms, fewer class choices, and reduced school services (who needs those pesky nurses, librarians or guidance counselors). Other taxpayers will notice the cuts in terms of longer lines at the DMV and longer waits for tax refunds.
Less noticeable but as important will be the overall drag on local economies.
Slashing jobs doesn't make much sense in a weak employment market.