Local Government Shed Jobs in December, Still Awaiting Aid

After Congress left state and local governments out of its massive pandemic relief package last month, new numbers are showing that employment in the hard-hit public sector has continued shrinking.

Last month, Congress passed a long-awaited second pandemic relief package, worth a whopping $1.4 trillion — but it left out aid to state and local government.

New numbers show that local government continued hemorrhaging jobs last month.


While the economy as a whole lost 140,000 jobs — a relatively small portion of the 143 million total — local government employment shrank half a percent with a loss of about 32,000.

Like much of the economy, government employment overall remains far below where it was the year prior.


The new presidential administration of Joe Biden has signaled support for state and local aid, and his party controls both houses of Congress. And the vaccine rollout, though it’s going slower than the government planned, is proceeding.

So for cash-strapped governments across the country, there are glimmers of hope in the future.

Continuous updates available here.


Previous months of analysis: November, October, September, August, July, June, May, April

Ben Miller is the associate editor of data and business for Government Technology. His reporting experience includes breaking news, business, community features and technical subjects. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno, and lives in Sacramento, Calif.