Public Sector Stops Firing, and Starts Hiring

According to new data, state and local governments hired 828,000 workers in the first four months of the year, "up 20% from a year earlier, and the most since 2008," stoking hopes that government job growth may be on the way.

It seems like it was just yesterday that we noted the drag on the economy caused by government job losses, as the public sector shrank by 706,000 employees since its post-recession peak in April 2009. Dennis Cauchon, however, sees reason for optimism about public sector job growth in USA TODAY's analysis of the government's Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, which shows that "state and local governments are hiring at the fastest pace in four years."

"This lift in government hiring shows how state budget problems have eased in recent months as tax collections have improved," writes Cauchon, who notes that the hiring increase can be attributed to governments "filling jobs that had been left vacant to save money."

Full Story: Hiring rebounds for state, local governments

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