The drop in state and local government employment in Connecticut was the 5th largest in the nation between December 2007 and June 2014, according to data released by the Economic Policy Institute using data compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Connecticut’s government employment levels dropped 5.8 percent during the period. Larger decreases in local and state government employees came in Michigan, 8 percent drop; Louisiana, 7.6 percent; Rhode Island, 7.6 percent; and Nevada, 6.5 percent. Nationwide, 21 states saw a reduction in government employees, the remaining states had an increase in staffing during the six-and-a-half year period.
Among the states with the largest increases in public sector jobs were Utah, Colorado, North Carolina, Texas, Wyoming, West Virginia, Delaware and Kentucky.
While some state lawmakers attempted to preserve public-sector jobs—such as by raising taxes on the wealthy—too many chose to slash vital investments in the public sector, the Economic Policy Institute indicated, weakening the critical services provided by police, firefighters, teachers, and social workers.
Since the start of the Great Recession in December 2007, 28 states plus the District of Columbia have added state and local government jobs, while 22 states have cut public sector workers. (see chart)
The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank created in 1986 to include the needs of low- and middle-income workers in economic policy discussions. Washington, D.C.-based EPI conducts research and analysis on the economic status of working America.
Nationally, the state and local public sector had roughly 412,000 fewer jobs in July 2014 than it did in December 2007, and nearly 600,000 jobs fewer than at its peak in July 2008, the research found.