Local government employment is going through the roof as politicians spend recklessly to reward their friends and supporters. The cost is soaring beyond the ability of New York City taxpayers to pay. What am I describing?
New York City in the Dinkins administration?
New York City in the Giuliani administration?
New York City in the Bloomberg administration?
Wrong. It is in the rest of New York State during all those years that local employment has soared. This is quickly ascertained using the latest re-benchmarked Current Employment Survey (CES) data from the New York State Department of Labor. And yes, New York City taxpayers (along with those elsewhere in the state) are having a hard time paying for it.
According to this source, local government employment was 23,800 lower in New York City in 2005 than it had been in 1990. Local government employment in the rest of the state, in contrast, was 103,200 higher. That is a stunning increase. And the year-over-year decrease in New York City, and increase in the rest of the state, has continued right up to the latest monthly data release.
Breaking it down by category, employment in New York City local government elementary and secondary schools rose by 11,000 from 1990 to 2005, with a steep fall from 1990 to 1996, during a recession and fiscal crisis, more than offset by a subsequent increase. Employment in other local government categories, on the other hand, fell steeply during the first two years of the Giuliani administration, and slowly thereafter, ending with a substantial decline of 34,800. Note that in CES data, for historical reasons, New York City Transit counts as New York City local government employment.
In the rest of New York State, local government elementary and secondary school employment has jumped every year since 1992, ending with a huge gain of 66,300. Employment in other local government categories began to soar after 1997, and ended with a 36,900 gain over the 15 years. Note that in the rest of the state, mass transit agencies such as the LIRR and the CDTA are counted as “state government” by this source, not local government.