Prop Zero
The Starting Point for Commentary and Coverage of California Politics

Trying to Have It Both Ways on Jobs

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    NEWSLETTERS

    In this political season, many candidates rail simultaneously about California's high unemployment rate and about government spending, including the fiscal stimulus. (Yes, Carly Fiorina, I'm looking at you).

    Well, the new jobs numbers for the state make clear that a lack of government spending is helping keep the jobs figures high.

    The majority of the 63,600 jobs lost last month in California were government jobs. More than 37,000 government jobs in all. And the overwhelming percentage of those -- more than 32,000 -- were at the local government level. The LA Times has a smart breakdown of the numbers here.

    How is that governments are cutting back at the same time there's so much howling about deficits and big government? Well, here's one key fact overlooked in the much-debated federal stimulus legislation: moneys in the original legislation that were designed to prevent state and local government layoffs were taken out, at the behest of Republicans and moderate Democrats in the U.S. Senate.

    The result is more unemployment and more voter frustration: citizens see the bigger deficits in Washington at the same time they see the loss of local government jobs and services that they depend upon at home.