The Economy is Booming … For Government Workers

The recession is over … or maybe never began … for workers in the public sector.

Polling by Rasmussen finds that most government workers think that the economy is getting better while most workers in the dreaded private sector believe that the economy is getting worse.…

Today, 46% of government employees say the economy is getting better while just 31% say it’s getting worse. Among those who work in the private sector, the numbers are reversed: 32% say better and 49% worse.

Twenty-four percent (24%) of government employees rate the economy as good or excellent while just nine percent (9%) of those in the private sector are so upbeat.

Fifty-five percent (55%) in the private sector rate the economy as poor, a pessimism shared by 38% of those on the public payroll.

Forty-four percent (44%) of government employees rate their own personal finances as good or excellent while 33% of private sector workers do the same

Why shouldn’t government workers feel that they are in clover?  A huge chunk of the $787 billion stimulus was aimed at maintaining state and local payrolls.  If a state or local government worker lost their job, they would have a good shot at a federal job of which many have been created.  

Yes, state and local payrolls were trimmed some.  In the past two years, the number of workers in the government sector in Massachusetts fell by some 6,000 — about 1.5 percent.  That’s nothing compared to the decline in employment in manufacturing (down 26,000 about 9%), finance (down 19,000 about 9%) or construction (down 29,000 about 25%) in Massachusetts.  

In my view the stimulus has been counterproductive in part because it negated the need for government to downsize and become more efficient.

Last month I was at an event at a major local business school.  The professor leading the panel discussion said that he tells his students to not even bother looking in Boston, go to Washington because that’s where all the jobs are.

So RMG-ers, what is your take on the job situation?  Are we permanently becomming a two tiered society like France with a pampered public sector and an schelerotic private sector?  Or will the private sector rebound?  I say the former and that Massachusetts has been there for a deade already.


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