Meanwhile, state and local government employment actually continued to increase as the economy began to worsen and — partially sustained by stimulus funding which didn’t stimulate anything — stayed above its January 2008 level until near the end of 2009. Even now, at 5.073 million, state government employment has only gone back to where it was in mid-2006. That’s not good enough, because that six-years-ago number resulted from an employment spurt of about 10% during the previous eight years. Local government has been hit harder as a percentage of its January 2008 workforce, but the growth in headcount of almost 17% during the previous decade was even more out of control.
Even on a percentage basis, it’s clear that the private sector, where employment is almost 4% lower than it was at peak employment, is still the biggest problem — or “drag,” if you will — of the bunch. Wait until you see what that means in terms of actual headcount:
President Obama can brag all he wants about how “we’ve created 4.3 million jobs over the last 27 months” — that’s what he said, as if he had anything at all to do with it except to keep the number from being larger (the reporter’s question which led to his answer concerned “your own policies,” so there’s no alternative interpretation as to the identification of “we”). The fact remains that we’re still 4.6 million jobs below getting back to where we were at peak employment — even before considering population growth during the past four-plus years. At the average monthly job growth of roughly 160,000 during that time, we’ll get back to where we were in late 2014. That’s bad enough, but at the average private-sector job growth of 85,000 seen during the past two months, we won’t get there until early 2017, shortly after the end of the next presidential term, which hopefully won’t be Obama’s. Sadly, given the “Taxmageddon” scheduled to visit us on January 1 and the president’s and his party’s refusal to do anything about it before the election, at least several more miserable months are a virtual lock.
Really now, how can anyone say that the area which is responsible for well over 90% of the 5,000,000-job shortfall and where part-timers are rapidly supplanting full-time employees is “doing fine”? I’ll tell you how: We have a president who has never managed anything bigger than a Senate office budget in his entire life, has no clue as to what’s going on outside of his Beltway/”Chicago way” bubble, and has only fever swamp-driven higher education, community organizing, legal system, and political backgrounds as points of reference. He isn’t merely out of touch; he’s out of reach.