The number of jobs added to the U.S. economy has been increasingly inflated by public sector positions as the economy begins to cool, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
The 327,000 public jobs added for the year as of August 2023 made up 17.4% of total jobs added, while the proportion was only 5% after the U.S. added 175,000 public sector jobs during that same time frame in 2022, according to the BLS. The U.S. added a total of 3,590,000 jobs from the start of 2022 to that August, which is far greater than the 1,884,000 added during that time span in 2023.
The U.S. added 187,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in August, while the unemployment rate shot up to 3.8%. The number of jobs added in June and July were both revised down from what was previously thought in August’s job report, with the U.S. adding only 105,000 jobs in June compared to the 185,000 previously reported, and July adding 157,000 jobs instead of 187,000.
The increase in government jobs has been accompanied by a rise in government spending, excluding COVID-19 stimulus measures, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis (FRED). In the first quarter of 2020, the federal government had an expenditure of about $4.88 trillion for the year period, while the second quarter of 2023 boasted a $6.48 trillion expenditure over the year.
Economic growth is not as strong as previously thought after a revision to Gross Domestic Product in August led the BLS to update its estimate from 2.4% growth to 2.1%, coming more in line with original expectations of 2% growth for the economy.
The number of people employed by the government reached a high of 22,871,000 employees in February 2020, immediately preceding the COVID-19 pandemic, from which the number has still not recovered, according to FRED. The high in 2020 is second only to May 2010, when the government employed 22,996,000 people, with the number declining sharply until July 2013.
Of CEOs at top companies, 32% expect to lay off workers in the next six months, up from 27% from the same survey released in June, according to a Business Roundtable survey released on Sept. 13.
Inflation reached 3.7% year-over-year in August, jumping from 3.2% in July and 3.0% in June. The increase in inflation steadily declined to the June figure after reaching 9.1% for the year in June 2022.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request to comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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