State and local government employment in Iowa is declining, part of a widespread downturn in public sector employment nationally, according to a new report by New York-based Nelson Rockefeller Institute of Government.
In Iowa, state employment declined by 2.5 percent and local government employment decreased by 0.7 percent when comparing October to December 2011 with the same period a year earlier, the report said. Private-sector employment in Iowa was up by 1.4 percent over the same period, also reflecting a national trend.
Thirty-eight states saw a decline in state and local government employment during the last three months of 2011 compared to a year earlier.
“Private-sector employment has been recovering steadily, but slowly, over the last two years, while state and local governments have been shedding jobs almost continuously for the last three years,” the report said. However, private employment fell far more sharply than government employment during and immediately after the recession, the authors said.
Nationally, overall private employment is now 4.5 percent below its level at the start of the recession, while state-local government employment is down 2.4 percent over the same period.
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