Dylan Scott is a GOVERNING staff writer.E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
For the first time since the start of the economic downturn, state and local governments created more jobs than they lost last month, according to a recent Gallup survey.
State and local government employees were more likely to report that their agencies were hiring instead of firing in August, according to the poll. Twenty-eight percent of state workers and 27 percent of local workers reported job creation, compared to 25 percent and 24 percent, respectively, reporting job losses.
That equals a +3 job creation index for both state and local governments. During the worst part of the recession, state and local governments reported a job creation index of -28 and -26, respectively.
Meanwhile, private-sector employment remained essentially unchanged with a +23 job creation index, and federal government employment dipped slightly to -12.
Overall, the U.S. economy had a job creation index of +19 in August -- up from +17 in July. Coupled with +20 readings in June and April, the poll's authors concluded that "the past six months reflect the best U.S. job market conditions workers have reported since the global economic collapse."
Gallup conducted random telephone surveys of 17,603 U.S. adults to create the August index.