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Go ahead. Don’t be shy. Hire a public service worker.

Photo credit: Getty
By AFSCME Staff ·

State and local governments, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and hire public service workers.

It’ll do our economy a whole lot of good. And American communities hurt by reduced public services will thank you for it.

As William Spriggs, the AFL-CIO’s chief economist, points out, hiring more public service workers is a great way to speed up an already robust economic recovery.

“The loss of state and local government jobs in the face of the Pandemic is the most solvable of the job loss numbers. We need governors, county supervisors and mayors to get payrolls back instead of cutting UI (unemployment insurance) benefits. We will have a stronger recovery,” Spriggs tweeted after the federal government reported Friday that the economy added 850,000 jobs in June, exceeding analysts’ expectations.

Despite this welcome growth in overall employment, state and local hiring hasn’t been keeping pace. AFSCME’s analysis of last week’s employment data shows that there’s been a decline of 1 million state and local government jobs from February 2020 to June 2021.

States, cities and towns furloughed or laid off thousands of public service workers – even though many of them served on the front lines of the fight against the pandemic. Essential workers put their lives and the lives of their families on the line to serve their communities bravely.

AFSCME members fought hard to get Congress to pass the American Rescue Plan, which contains $350 billion in aid for struggling states, cities, towns – money aimed at preventing furloughs and layoffs of public service workers and restoring vital services to communities.

Now it’s up to state and local governments – not just school districts – to use the funding for the intended purpose. And supercharge the economic recovery in the process.

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