We Need More Public-Sector Jobs

Congress needs to focus on job creation, particularly in the public sector.

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August marked the 30th straight month of private-sector job gains, and over that time the economy has added more than 4.6 million private-sector jobs. The public sector, however, has lost nearly 600,000 jobs over the same time period, which has worked against a more robust economic recovery.

Certainly, the job market continues to move in the right direction, but the pace remains too slow to bring the unemployment rate down far enough so that everyone who wants a job can find one.

With the so-called fiscal cliff looming at the end of the year—when Congress and the Obama administration must work out a compromise on spending cuts and revenue increases or see the economy face deep mandatory spending cuts and across-the-board tax increases—with Europe teetering on recession and Asia weakening, employers need to see Republican leaders in Congress stop blocking the president’s efforts to boost employment, rather than trying to force fiscal austerity on an economy yet to fully recover from the disastrous financial regulatory policies of the 2000s.

The right policy steps right now would be to make investments in our too-long-neglected roads and bridges while putting teachers back in schools and cops back on the beat.

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