by Bob Geary
No. 1: Especially in a recession, we don't need government jobs — cut 'em.*
No. 1 —
* Data for the public sector again reflected the ongoing state and local budget problems, with state government employment losing 23,000 jobs and local government employment dropping by 16,000. According to the Commissioner’s Statement, the state government decline was due almost entirely to the partial government shutdown in Minnesota. But even excluding these losses, state and local governments have shed over half a million jobs since their peak in August 2008.
The private sector added 154,000 jobs in July. Of these gains, 112,000 were in private service-providing industries and 42,000 were in goods-producing industries. Manufacturing gained 24,000 jobs, after adding an average of 15,000 over the prior three months. Of manufacturing’s gains, 12,000 were in motor vehicles and parts, some of which may be due to seasonal-adjustment factors related to plant shut downs for retooling. Construction grew by 8,000 in July, after adding an average of 1,000 over the prior three months.
No. 2 —
** But LaRoque, who returned in January to the N.C. General Assembly after a four-year hiatus, takes aim at government waste while quietly accepting generous six-figure paychecks for running two public charities funded with $8 million in federal dollars since 1997.
He’s earned up to $195,000 a year heading the two small economic development organizations—the East Carolina Development Company and Piedmont Development Company—and used the non-profits to loan some of the public funds to his close associates and political allies. Past board members say they were kept in the dark about his pay.