Public Sector Impacts of the Great Recession and COVID-19   [open pdf - 0B]

From the Document: "The Great Recession that began December 2007 and ended in June 2009 preceded one of the weakest economic recoveries on record, with both wages and employment stagnating well into the following decade. The public sector in particular--local, state, and federal employment--failed to rebound to pre-recession levels for many years after the recession ended, and in some parts of the country was still below 2007 levels when the COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] pandemic began. In California, as in the United States as a whole, public sector employment has never recovered when accounting for population growth. Inadequate federal stimulus, significant state budget cuts, restrictions on local revenue options, and overall stagnation of employment and wages throughout the economy, all affected California's economic recovery. This persistence of public sector declines after the Great Recession should inform state and local policy responses to the job and revenue losses driven by COVID-19 in order to avoid a weak post-pandemic recovery. [...] This brief summarizes the Great Recession's impact on public employment and the public sector job losses driven by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Our analysis points to the importance of focusing on the public sector as policymakers respond to the COVID-19 crisis."

UC Berkeley Labor Center
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UC Berkeley Labor Center: https://laborcenter.berkeley.edu/
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