CSG Midwest
The third Great Lakes state in four years has passed so-called “right to work” legislation, a trend that has captured national headlines because of the region’s tradition as a union stronghold. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed SB 44 into law in March.
 

According CSG's analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, at its peak in August 2008 state government employment stood at 5.21 million, or around 3.8 percent of total nonfarm employment. Over the next five years, state governments shed 187,000 jobs, landing at 5.03 million in July 2013. As of December 2014, state governments had regained 53,000 positions after hitting a low in July 2013, but have only recovered a little over one-quarter of the positions lost since the August 2008 peak.  In December 2014, state government employment made up 3.6 percent of total nonfarm employment.

During and after the Great Recession, job losses in the private sector were more pronounced than losses to state government employment. For example, from Dec. 2007 – Dec. 2008, private sector employment contracted by 3.2 percent and from Dec. 2008 – Dec. 2009, it fell by 4.5 percent. For state government employment, losses did not begin until 2009, when employment fell by 0.8 percent (Dec. 2009-Dec. 2010), 0.3 percent (Dec. 2009 – Dec. 2010) and 1.8 percent (Dec. 2010 – Dec. 2011).

According CSG's analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, throughout 2014, state government employment grew by 0.5 percent overall compared to 2.6 percent growth in the private sector. State government employment grew in 32 states, remained the same in four states and shrunk in 14 states.

According CSG's analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 21.9 million government workers in December 2014, or 15.6 of total nonfarm employment. Nearly two-thirds of government employment is at the local level and 55 percent of local government jobs are in education. About one-quarter of government employment is at the state level and 12 percent is at the federal level.

According CSG's analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, state government employment remains below the peak level reached in August 2008, but has seen net gains for four consecutive months.

Veterans are enrolling in postsecondary education institutions in large numbers, most of them with extensive occupational experience. Many colleges use Prior Learning Assessments to award academic credit when the knowledge and skills an individual has gained outside the classroom--including employment, military training and service, civic activities, and volunteer service--can be matched to college-level coursework. Veterans who earn credit for general courses are able to complete their degrees in a shorter period of time, reducing...

Insourcing is a practice that reverses the trend of multinational corporations operating overseas. Businesses increasingly are choosing to relocate to the United States, and in some cases, foreign-owned corporations are employing American workers for the first time. Insourcing saves and creates jobs, and state policy can play a pivotal role in affecting businesses’ decisions to locate stateside.

Econ Piggy

According to information released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the union membership rate continued to decline in 2014. The rate, defined as the percent of wage and salary workers who are members of a union, was 11.1 percent in 2014, down 0.2 percentage points from 2013. Since 1983, the union membership rate has fallen or remained the same every year except two - in 2007 and 2008, the rate increased slightly. In 1983, the membership rate was 20.1 percent.   

The Solar Foundation, an independent nonprofit with a mission to increase understating of solar energy, recently published its annual National Solar Jobs Census 2014 report.  The report found the U.S. solar industry created jobs at a rate nearly 20 times higher than the average employment growth for a second consecutive year.

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