Austerity Is Hurting The Recovery, Part the Zillionth

by evanmcmurry

New Brookings Institute* report proves what you already knew (especially if you read this blog): unemployment is abnormally high because austerity measures have prevented the public sector from expanding to its full potential:

Based on the government’s response in the five recessions between 1970 and 2007, the US should have 2.2 million more public sector jobs than have been produced by the response to the Great Recession.

From the report: “By cutting jobs during a period of already high unemployment, budget policies have contributed to the tepid pace of labor-market recovery and stand out as a departure from typical policy responses after recessions…  In the forty-six months following the end of the five other recent recessions, government employment increased by an average of 1.7 million. During the current recovery, however, government employment has decreased by more than 500,000.”

Obama gets the worst of both ends of this: a slower recovery, and the stigma of socialism from the very people calling for the austerity measures that result in the slower economy.

* Yes, Brookings is left-ish, but unlike certain think tanks it still can, you know, add and stuff.