SACRAMENTO, Calif.) 30 August 2011 – California and federal policy makers should protect the jobs of educators, school personnel, public safety workers, and other public sector workers in part because their spending serves to power local economies and can help the state and the nation recover.
In a Tuesday morning teleconference from the state capital, Alissa Anderson, deputy director of the nonpartisan California Budget Project, said that the state and national economies are “mired in the most severe downturn” in the past decade.
While California has lost more than 1.1 million jobs and consumer earnings and spending are down, corporate profits are soaring, with multi-national corporations amassing cash in overseas accounts, instead of hiring back workers.
High unemployment, low wage growth, and rising corporate profits have resulted in wages and salaries now comprising the smallest share of revenues, while corporate profits are representing the largest share.
The CBP’s new report, “On the Edge: CA workers still face toughest job market in decades,” finds that California and the nation are experiencing a “massive job deficit,” with the state having lost 1.4 million jobs since the “great recession” began more than three years ago.
The key to recovery, according to the CBP, is to expand employment. To achieve that goal, policymakers are being urged to “take a proactive approach” to avoid a sluggish recovery or another downturn.
The CBP recommends that congress should extend federal unemployment benefits that are slated to expire at the end of the year. The report also urges policymakers to sustain public sector jobs, including those of teachers, firefighters, child care workers, police officers and others who provide essential services and use their wages to boost local economies.
Elected officials should “minimize spending cuts that cost jobs,” the CBP recommends.
The full report is embargoed until Saturday night. It release coincides with the Labor Day weekend.