Friday, January 01, 2010

Where the Jobs Aren't Going To Be

Interesting list in the Spokane Journal of Business' December 23rd edition on the largest employers in Spokane County.

#1 is the State of Washington
#4--Spokane Public Schools
#5--Spokane County
#6--City of Spokane
#7--The US Government
#11--Community Colleges of Spokane
#12--Central Valley School District
#14--Eastern Washington University
#18--State Department of Corrections
#25--Eastern State Hospital
#30--Lakeland Village
#31--East Valley School District
#45--Cheney School District
#50--Washington State DOT
#55--Deer Park School District
#58--West Valley School District
#59--Medical Lake School District


9 of the top 60 employers in the county are school districts, the community colleges, or state universities. If you put them all together, you have 8,565 jobs.

Now think about the cuts that could happen--if you laid off 5% of those people, you'd have 428 more people out on the streets looking for work. This, in a county where unemployment is currently 7.9% and a state where nearly 1-in-10 people can't find a job.

I guess that's why I can't really be sympathetic to the belief expressed by some that the government doesn't create jobs; the underlying bias in that statement is that a government job isnt' a "real" job, and that's a slap in the face. And if we don't save some of these pesky government jobs, you're going to be looking at a lot of unemployed school employees slowing the recovery down even further.

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