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State and Local Governments Continuing to Lose Jobs

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As my colleague Chad Stone explained this morning, today's jobs report shows that "unemployment is still very high, and jobs are still hard to find" (charts here).

That includes jobs in school districts and other parts of the public sector. States and localities cut 22,000 jobs in the past month, wiping out half the month's gain in private-sector jobs (Matthew Yglesias highlights this issue as well). In total, state and local governments have cut 231,000 jobs, including 100,000 local education jobs, since the summer of 2008.

This is a problem for the economy as a whole, because local businesses suffer when teachers and others don't have paychecks to spend.

These new figures are further evidence that Congress needs to include aid to states in its upcoming jobs bill -- and another reason why we'll keep bringing this issue up.

Nicholas Johnson is director of state fiscal policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and regularly blogs on the Center's blog, Off the Charts.