The NY Times reports on a new study that shows government employment is, if not recession-proof, pretty well covered in Kevlar compared to the private sector:
While the private sector has shed 6.9 million jobs since the beginning of the recession, state and local governments have expanded their payrolls and added 110,000 jobs….
Government jobs are always more stable than private sector jobs during downturns, but their ability to weather the current deep recession startled Donald J. Boyd, the senior fellow at the [Nelson Rockefeller] institute who wrote the report.
"I am a little surprised at the fact that state and local government has remained as stable as it has in the nation as a whole, given the depth of the current recession," Mr. Boyd said in an interview….
The expansion, coming as many states and localities are raising taxes, troubled Tad DeHaven, a budget analyst for the Cato Institute, a libertarian research group in Washington. "That is disturbing," Mr. DeHaven said. "Basically what you have is your producers in society losing their jobs and looking for work, and their tax burden isn't necessarily going down—and as a matter of fact they are likely to face tax increases going forward—and government growing."
The story notes that government cuts in jobs are coming (sure). Remember this the next time your state and local budget officers tell you that they've "cut to the bone," meaning they've trimmed 1 percent or less of their workforce while your company's staffing is down by double digits. Whole thing here.
Here's a great chart that accompanied the story.