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Posted at 9:48 AM ET, 12/29/2010

The 2010 labor market in one graph

By Ezra Klein

2010labormarket.png

Much more here. Note that the big drag on the labor market's recovery has been cuts in public-sector jobs. If the line for government jobs looked more like the line for private jobs, the labor market would be in much better shape right now.

By Ezra Klein  | December 29, 2010; 9:48 AM ET
Categories:  Charts and Graphs, Economy  
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Comments

David Leonhardt and chart porn, and here I thought x-mas had already passed!!!1

@Chris_Gaun
chrisgaun@gmail.com

Posted by: chrisgaun | December 29, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

I truly have the best commenters.

Posted by: Ezra Klein | December 29, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

"If the line for government jobs looked more like the line for private jobs, the labor market would be in much better shape right now."

That assumes that increasing government employment would have no impact on private employment, which isn't a safe assumption it seems to me. Current or future tax increases do have effects on private employment.

Posted by: BGPoutsideDC | December 29, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Thanks!

Posted by: chrisgaun | December 29, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Should government jobs grow?

Most of the public sector employment growth in recent decades has been at the state and local levels, which have the worst fiscal conditions compared to the private sector and the Federal government.

Economic expansion may eventually boost state revenues, but local governments dependent on property taxes have a long hard slog ahead. Ex NJ Governor Jim Florio recently opined that governors will be ''turning in the keys to their respective statehouses'' if high unemployment and low property prices continue as the new normal (http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/opinion/commentary/article_53ca2b88-6e3b-5908-adb7-55652f6d2be0.html)

Could you comment on what assumptions / dynamics cause Federal revenues to expand from 2009-2010 level of 14.9% of GDP to 19% as Fiscal Commission assumes?

Again, broad expansion will help, but corporate income tax receipts declined by half and personal income taxes by 20% from 2008 to 2009.

Hard to believe that 2011 will be up to 19% so quickly at 2-3% GDP growth, especially with Bush tax / payroll tax holiday / expensing provisions just signed into law.

BTW, your Think Tank link to CRS primer on filibuster actually links to Fiscal Commission report.

Posted by: Clear_Eye | December 29, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

"That assumes that increasing government employment would have no impact on private employment, which isn't a safe assumption it seems to me. Current or future tax increases do have effects on private employment."

Are you on crack? It is absolutely a safe assumption to make. We have 10% unemployment. This means there is no danger of public and private employment competing with each other for workers, because there is a huge talent pool sitting idle, contributing nothing.

Good lord, it's like arguing that it's a labor market problem for fisherman to hire farmhands in the dead of winter to repair fishing nets. Because, you know, we need those farmhands for the harvest. Never mind that it's freaking DECEMBER! Nope, much better they sit around in the barns doing nothing than we put them to productive labor.

And sure taxes impact private jobs, but what we DO with those taxes impacts private jobs a heck of a lot more! You seriously think the taxes we spent on highways was job-killing? You think a couple billion in bridge expansion and repair would be bad for the private sector economy? Research into defeating deadly diseases? Retirement money for old people who can't work anymore? Money for our entire legal system that makes business contracts enforceable? Enforcement of property and personal safety laws? There's more than just costs in this ledger...

Posted by: theorajones1 | December 29, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

This would be an interesting graph to see over the past decade or so.

Posted by: FievelWentWest | December 29, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Hey, but private jobs are on an upward slope and the total jobs line is almost back to May's peak. So I think that although it would be nice to have a steeper upward slope to the total, at least things are moving in a good direction.

We should forget about increased public sector employment for the next few years; in light of what corporate profits are doing, it is good to see a (lagging) growth in private sector jobs.

Posted by: bouvier7 | December 29, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

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