Public-sector employers are reporting difficulties in recruiting new workers despite rising job numbers in the private sector, Axios reports.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics' Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey shows a spike in government job openings at every level in recent years, from about 700,000 openings at a state and local level in 2020 to more than 900,000 in 2022.
Axios notes that state and local governments have had limited cash resources for hiring due to the loss of tax revenue and spending cuts since the Great Recession.
"The postal service and public schools can't offer workers higher pay," Julia Pollak, ZipRecruiter’s chief economist, told the news outlet.
She added, "People have fled the public sector for the private sector, where signing bonuses and faster wage growth have been far more accessible."
One New Jersey middle school teacher told Axios, "We're losing staff and unable to replace them.”
The teacher added, "My husband works in the tech industry, and they're paying recent college grads $120k to start. Who wants to teach for $50k, especially if they have student loans and the added risk of getting hit or shot in the building? My husband has never broken up a fight or been cursed at by a teen."
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