The Declining Government Workforce

The Declining Government Workforce

The U.S. unemployment rate has been trending downward, but most of the jobs growth has been in the private sector. What a decline in government jobs means for the economy.

The U.S. economy has added private-sector jobs for 29 consecutive months. But figures for the public sector have been dismal. Local, state and federal employment has declined in 10 of the past 12 months. Some see this as a positive sign of bloated bureaucracies getting leaner and of making progress on narrowing budget gaps. But others worry. The public-sector job losses mean fewer firefighters, police and -- most of all -- teachers. Guest host Frank Sesno talks with economists and an economics reporter about what the sharp drop in government jobs signals for the U.S. economy and the
American workforce.


Michael Greenstone

economics professor at MIT, director of the Brookings Institution's Hamilton Project and former chief economist at the White House Council of Economic Advisers (2009-2010).

Jim Tankersley

economic policy correspondent at The Washington Post.

Keith Hall

senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, former commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2008-2012) and former chief economist at the White House Council of Economic Advisers (2005-2008).

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