WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The layoffs of thousands of government workers may threaten the already slow-motion economic recovery in many U.S. metropolitan areas, according to a report released on Wednesday by the Brookings Institution.
"Job growth, though occurring in more metropolitan areas than in the past, was sluggish," the think tank said. "Those that suffered the most, as well as those with the weakest economic recoveries, typically lost government jobs."
Since the recession began in 2007, 19 out of the 20 metropolitan areas with the strongest economies gained government jobs, according to the report which focused on the first quarter of the year. Conversely, 13 of the lowest performing 20 areas lost government jobs.
Looking at the 100 metropolitan areas combined, Brookings said total employment rebounded by 0.8 percent after hitting its low point in the recession. But local government employment fell 1.2 percent and state employment dropped 0.2 percent, "reflecting the impact of reduced local and state revenues."