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Dick Meister: Good news--and bad--about jobs

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By Dick Meister

Dick Meister, former labor editor of the SF Chronicle and KQED-TV Newsroom, has covered labor and politics for more than a half century. Contact him through his website, www.dickmeister.com

It's of course good news that unemployment among workers in private industry has been steadily declining. But that comes along with the bad news that unemployment among public employees has been growing – and with it a decline in vital government services.

A recent  report in the New York Times has made that very clear.  Reporters Shaila Dewan and Motoko Rich noted that government payrolls grew in the early part of the recovery from the Great Recession in 2009, mainly because of federal stimulus measures. But they said that since then, "the public sector has shrunk by 706,000 jobs.  The losses appeared to be tapering off earlier this year, but have accelerated for the last three months, creating the single biggest drag on the recovery in many areas." Read more »