Capitol Comments

The most recent BLS jobs report in May offered good and bad news.  The good news: 54,000 jobs were created.  The bad news: only 54,000 jobs were created. Because the economy needs to add around 125,000 jobs every month just to break even and keep pace with new entrants into the workforce, the unemployment rate inched up to 9.1%.

States Perform, CSG’s interactive performance measurement website, has been updated with new information in key service areas: fiscal and economic, education, transportation, energy and environment, public safety and justice, and health and human services.

A report by the Bureau of Economic Analysis out today reveals that state GDP increased in 48 states and the District of Columbia in 2010 over 2009, providing some much needed good news amongst recent less-than-stellar unemployment reports. Durable–goods manufacturing was the biggest contributor to real GDP growth in a slight majority of states – 29 – while retail trade contributed to growth in every state. Construction, however, continued to drag down recovery, declining for the sixth consecutive year and bringing down the growth rate in most states.

According to a new report out by UBS Investment Research, as many as 450,000 state and local government employees could be laid off in the upcoming fiscal year.   This is a significant increase compared to last fiscal year’s layoffs, which totaled about 300,000 positions.

The report goes on to say that the increase is largely due to the ending of ARRA funds, including enhanced Medicaid matching rates and the education jobs...

Earlier this month, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released its first annual report to Congress in response to a new statutory requirement that the department identify federal programs, agencies, offices, and initiatives, either within departments or government-wide, which have duplicative goals or activities.

As states face growing budget gaps and policymakers are forced to make tough choices to balance budgets, several states have also established commissions to evaluate the operational and outcome efficiencies of state government and to develop recommendations for improvement. Here is a preliminary list of those commissions and their findings: