Mitch McConnell talks about the lack of improvement in unemployment as if he had no role in it. But the reality is that despite his claims that uncertainty and regulation are preventing employers from hiring, the private sector has, slowly, started hiring. It is the collapse of local government that has kept the unemployment rate up.
Throughout 2009, as the stimulus money and the Federal Reserves first round of quantitative easing hit the economy, the free fall in private sector employment started slowing. By the beginning of 2010, private sector employment started growing again and, by September of this year, had added nearly two million jobs. That is not nearly enough replace the eight million that were lost during the contraction, but if private sector jobs were the only jobs that counted, unemployment would be headed down.
With the exception of the temporary hiring of census takers in 2010, total government employment has dropped precipitously since President Obama was elected in 2009.
All government is not created equal, however. While total government employment has fallen a lot, Federal and state government employment has barely dropped at all.
Local government, however, has hemhoraged jobs and does not appear to be finished.
Since President Obama took office, local governments have cut over half a million jobs, even as the population overall, and the need for services, has continued to grow. This has hampered job growth in the nation. Significantly, assistance to local governments so they can stop cutting jobs is one of the parts of Obama's jobs bill that McConnell will not allow Republicans in the Senate to support.
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