Thursday Night Owls: 1000s of gov’t jobs at risk from projected state revenue shortfalls

Thursday Night Owls: 1000s of gov’t jobs at risk from projected state revenue shortfalls

Night Owls, a themed open thread, appears at Daily Kos seven days a week

During the Great Recession, 585,000 state and local public employees had lost their jobs by 2013. While the private sector took a far bigger hit, it rebounded, with jobs surpassing the 2008 total by March 2014. By March 2018, the private sector had gained 10.1 million new jobs since the Great Recession began. 

The public sector also rebounded, but by 2018 it was still 93,000 jobs short of how many were on the job in state and local governments a decade before. Although employment in law enforcement, highways, and hospitals took hits, elementary and secondary school employees got it the worst. And while hospitals, higher education, highways, and law enforcement have seen their numbers grow well past their 2008 counts, the net loss for K-12 teachers and other school employees by 2018 was still 114,000. 

With the Pandemic Recession a reality, public sector workers are again in trouble. Michael Leachman at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities writes—Projected State Shortfalls Grow as Economic Forecasts Worsen:

As economic projections worsen, so do the likely state budget shortfalls from COVID-19’s economic fallout. We now project shortfalls of $765 billion over three years, based on the new projections from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) of yesterday and Goldman Sachs of last week. The new shortfall figure, significantly higher than our estimate based on economic projections of three weeks ago, makes it even more urgent that the President and Congress enact more fiscal relief and maintain it as long as economic conditions warrant.

CBO now projects that unemployment will peak at 15.8 percent in the third quarter of this year (July-September), fall to a still-high 11.5 percent by the last quarter, and remain at an elevated 8.6 percent at the end of 2021. Goldman’s new projection estimates that unemployment will peak at an astonishing 25 percent this quarter and still remain at 8.2 percent at the end of 2021. These CBO and Goldman estimates, considerably more pessimistic than their estimates of early April, account for the aid that Washington has already enacted for businesses, individuals, and state and local governments. Goldman’s projections also assume that policymakers will provide additional fiscal relief.

Our projection of $765 billion in shortfalls over state fiscal years 2020-22 — much deeper than in the Great Recession of about a decade ago (see chart) — is based on both the historical relationship between unemployment and state revenues and on the average between the latest CBO and Goldman projections. It covers state budget shortfalls only, not the additional shortfalls that local governments, territories, and tribes face. […]

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QUOTATION

“Once you realize that trickle-down economics does not work, you will see the excessive tax cuts for the rich as what they are — a simple upward redistribution of income, rather than a way to make all of us richer, as we were told.”
          ~~Ha-Joon Chang23 Things They Don’t Tell You about Capitalism (2012)

TWEET OF THE DAY

Trump is threatening to harm Nevadans because our Republican Secretary of State is making it easier for them to vote. The President doesnâÂ�Â�t care about the Constitution or apparently Nevadans’ safety. He’ll do anything to distract the public from his incompetent COVID-19 response.

— Dina Titus (@repdinatitus) May 20, 2020

BLAST FROM THE PAST

At Daily Kos on this date in 2012—Supreme Court confronts in vitro fertilization technology:

Karen and Robert Capato were married in August 1999, but the honeymoon ended quickly as Robert was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. Before starting chemo which might render him sterile, he had his sperm frozen. He died in March 2002. Karen used his sperm to conceive a child in January 2003, and in September 2003—18 months after Robert Capato’s death—she gave birth to twins.  

The Social Security Act of 1939 allows for survivor benefits for “the child or legally adopted child of an [insured] individual,” and so Karen applied for Social Security survivor benefits for the twins. The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit agreed with her application, holding: “What is before us is a discrete set of circumstances and the narrow question posed by those circumstances: are the undisputed biological children of a deceased wage earner and his widow ‘children’ within the meaning of the Act? The answer is a resounding ‘Yes.'”

The Social Security Administration appealed, and today the Supreme Court of the United States resoundingly said ‘No.'” Or, at least, “Look, it’s a close call, and the SSA is entitled to the benefit of the doubt.” 

On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: Greg Dworkin sets us up for our next COVID weekend. Outside the NY area, critical stats are up, not down. Reopenings only work if people want them. And they don’t. Trump’s polls are crap. He has no strategy. He just says things.

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