Layoffs Are Back: This Time, Public Sector Will Bear the Brunt
Layoffs among state and local government workers are the most obvious source of new unemployment. Large cuts have started in regions as diverse as Jefferson County, Ala., Detroit, and Pennsylvania. These downsizings have affected police, teachers, and administrative personnel. In Detroit, the number of public employee layoffs could rise into the hundreds.
And government job cuts may have only just started. Budgets in large states including California and New York are still not balanced, and state deficits are running in the billions of dollars. Austerity plans being proposed in Washington will probably cost jobs among federal government employees as well.
A recent Gallup poll showed job worries among the top concerns in the U.S. "All major subgroups of Americans thus far in 2011 have named either 'the economy' or unemployment as the nation's top problem," Gallup reported. The NFIB Research Foundation, an arm of the National Federation of Independent Business that tracks small business trends, reported recently that many firms with modest numbers of workers plan cuts this year.