U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, said Wednesday that Congress needs to be more concerned about public-sector jobs than private-sector jobs.
"It's very clear that private-sector jobs have been doing just fine; it's the public-sector jobs where we've lost huge numbers, and that's what this legislation is all about," Reid said while promoting President Obama’s jobs bill.
But James Hohman, assistant director for fiscal policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, disagrees. He said private-sector jobs have been hit harder than public-sector jobs since the recession started in December 2007.
The private sector has lost 6.3 million jobs, a 5.4 percent drop, since December 2007, while the public sector has only lost 1.8 percent, or 392,000 jobs, in that same time, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The public sector had 22.3 million jobs in December 2007 and dropped to 21.2 million in September 2011. The private sector had 115.6 million jobs in December 2007 and it dropped to 109.3 million as of September 2011.
Hohman said the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 protected many government jobs.
“The private sector is still way down and they should not be asked to support government jobs that have been protected from a recession,” Hohman said.