Latest jobs report shows public services are ‘on the way toward a full recovery’

AFSCME President Lee Saunders applauded the latest federal jobs report, which showed the U.S. economy gaining 199,000 jobs in November.

“Today’s jobs report shows how far we’ve come in three years. In April 2020, during the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. economy lost a record 20.5 million jobs – including more than 900,000 in the public sector,” Saunders said in a statement Friday. “Now, we are on the way toward a full recovery as public sector jobs numbers nearly return to pre-pandemic levels.”

State and local government jobs grew by 49,000 in November. That means the public sector is now just 2,000 jobs below February 2020 levels — the month before the pandemic hit the economy.

Saunders cautioned that many public service vacancies still exist. That’s why AFSCME launched its Staff the Front Lines initiative this year. Our goal is not just to help restore public services back to pre-pandemic levels, but also to where they should be if public service employment had kept pace with population growth.

Saunders added: “To continue moving our economy in the right direction, we must reelect Joe Biden. In him, we have a champion who got our communities the funding they so desperately needed through the American Rescue Plan — funding that saved our jobs and gave us the tools to rebuild. And he continues to show his respect for working people by stepping up investments in the work we do. With Joe Biden in our corner, we can fully rebuild our communities.”