California’s Mass Job Loss… Except in Government

-By Warner Todd Huston

A recent report by the Sacramento based California Budget Project shows that two out of five working-age Californians are out of work. The jobless rate has not been this bad since 1977. California’s unemployment rate is one of the worst in the country at 12 percent.

Yet, union membership has grown in California despite the recession. And it’s no wonder when looking at the CBP study. On page three, for instance, we see a notation that reports that unionization in government jobs has grown substantially and is also at a much higher percentage of the total sector workforce in California than it is in the rest of the country.

Unionization rates were consistently higher in the public sector than in the private sector in 2008-2009. As Figure 2 shows, public-sector unionism was especially strong in Los Angeles as well as in California: during 2008-2009, well over half of all workers in the California and Los Angeles public sectors were union members. In the nation as a whole, the unionization rate for public-sector workers was 37.0 percent; much higher than the 7.5 percent rate found in the private sector, but well below the rates for public-sector workers in California (57.4%) or Los Angeles (56%).

So, while regular citizens are losing their jobs by the millions, government workers are in clover, riding the gravy train, on easy street.

During one of the worst economies in generations government is growing.

And can we review what government does for the economy? It drains it, feeds off of it, empties it of cash. Government is a drag on the economy, not a help. Government creates nothing but bills. Yet, in California, they are growing the government in this climate.

Amazingly self destructive, isn’t it?

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