As you know the unemployment rate ticked up slightly in July to 8.2%. That is in spite of the fact that private sector job growth was the best it has been for three months, adding 172,000 jobs for an average of 141,000 per month so far this year. See the BLS July report here: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm
So, why did unemployment go up? The answer is simple. Republicans in Congress have been extremely successful in blocking the federal aid to state and local governments that we would normally see during a recession. Additionally, Republicans at the state level continue to lay off public employees even in those states and communities where state and local revenues have improved. Consequently, we continue to see declines in public sector employment. In fact, government payrolls have fallen in 23 of the last 26 months. More than one million public sector employees have lost their jobs. Nine thousand were lost in July.
Republicans were not successful in totally blocking the stimulus that turned around the private sector and got it on a path to job growth. However their austerity policies and obstruction of any efforts to help state and local governments has had the effect they desired--cripple or at least slow the recovery in the hope that a struggling economy would be good for Republicans in the 2012 election.
The Brooking Institute crunched the numbers and concluded: “If government employment had remained steady rather than shrinking, the current unemployment rate would be 7.6% rather than 8.3%.”
Why do we have 8.3% unemployment rather than 7.6%? Answer: Because Republicans who are willing to sacrifice American jobs for political advantage. Will they be rewarded for this cynical attack on America? We’ll find out in November.
Read more here: http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/jobs/posts/2012/08/03-jobs-burtless?rssid=LatestFromBrookings&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+BrookingsRSS%2Ftopfeeds%2FLatestFrom