Budget Cuts Claim Hundreds Of Thousands Of County, City Jobs

Source: USA Today

Local governments, once a steady source of employment in tough economic times, are shedding jobs in unprecedented numbers, and heavy payroll losses are expected to persist into next year.

The job cuts by city and county governments are helping offset modest private-sector employment gains, restraining broader job growth.

“They’ll continue to be a drag on the overall (employment) numbers and the economy,” says Wells Fargo economist Mark Vitner.

Localities have chopped 535,000 positions since September 2008 to close massive budget deficits resulting largely from sharp declines in property tax receipts. That exceeds the 413,000 local government jobs cut from 1980 to 1983, the only other substantial downturn in local government employment, according to federal records that go back to 1955.

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