President Barack Obama famously blamed the bad economy on a struggling public sector, but a new Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report shows that the issuance of pink slips has slowed among government workers while jumping across much of private industry.
In August, nearly 1.8 million private sector employees were laid off—up nearly 300,000 from July and nearly 100,000 from August 2011. Those layoffs came just two months after Obama proclaimed that “the private sector is doing fine” and attributed struggling job creation to government layoffs.
“The private sector is doing fine. Where we’re seeing weaknesses in our economy have to do with state and local government,” he said in June. “If Republicans want to be helpful, if they really want to move forward and put people back to work, what they should be thinking about is how do we help state and local governments and how do we help the construction industry?”
The latest BLS numbers tell a different story. Federal employees saw decreased job loss over the year, while layoffs at the state and local level grew by about 2 percent—less than half the 4.4 percent layoff increase experienced by the private sector.
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