Tag Archives: census

Why Government Layoffs Tripled in June

This graph from just-released Federal Reserve data caught my eye. It shows government layoffs and discharges from late 2000 through June of this year (raw data set downloadable here). Government jobs are remarkably stable. According to this BLS chart,government workers enjoy roughly three times the job security of private sector jobs. Government workers also compensated more than twice as well as the people who pay their salaries.

For most of the last decade, government workers had as small as a 1-in-200 chance of getting fired or laid off in a given month. This stability mostly held up even during recessions, which are marked as the shaded areas in the graph.

But notice the big spike that happened this June. The economy is out of recession. But times are still tough. And government deficits are at record highs. Is the sudden jump in layoffs and discharges due to government cutting spending to avoid fiscal disaster?

I’d guess not. June was when large numbers of temporary census workers finished their jobs. Still, for one shining second, I thought that Washington had come to its senses.

The Census Approaches

Reps. Darrell Issa and Patrick McHenry write that the census should be free of politics, and I completely agree. Life would be better if most things were free of politics.

Wishing won’t make it so, sadly. The census determines House seat redistricting. It also helps direct where billions of dollars worth of federal goodies are spent.

The census allocates power and money, in other words. Of course it’s going to be politicized!