EARNCon Session: Rebuilding the Public Sector: Understanding the state and local jobs shortfall and what it means for communities, public budgets, and equity
September 30 @ 8:15 am - 9:30 am
- Dave Cooper, Economic Policy Institute
- Amanda Posson, Every Texan
- Dustin Pugel, Kentucky Center for Economic Policy
- Jacob Vigil, New Mexico Voices
Thanks to timely and ample federal relief programs, the United States’ recovery from the pandemic-induced recession has been swift: the economy regained more than twice the number of jobs lost in the Great Recession in less than half the time. However, public sector employment – particularly state and local government – remains severely depressed from pre-pandemic levels, with little improvement over the past year. Even with unprecedented federal fiscal aid to state and local governments, many states and localities are facing staffing shortages in key public systems, including education and healthcare, that have been growing for years. In this session, EPI experts will lead a discussion to figure out what is happening beneath the headline numbers; how it’s affecting public services; what lawmakers and advocates can do about it; how EARN groups are responding, and what it all means with the threat of recession and austerity looming.