March 01, 2013 at 10:45 AM EST
Puncturing the sequester hype for NY
More numbers have been thrown around in the debate of the federal budget cuts known as the sequester than there are grains of sand on a beach. Here is a quick guide to the most important numbers for New York. As the excellent Crain's story published yesterday " New York learns to love the sequester '' pointed out, the $275 million New York state will loose is 0.093% of all state spending (that's a big number, right?) and less than half the increase in school aid for this year in Gov. Andrew Cuomo's budget. Then there is this The Wall Street Journal map which shows federal spending accounts for less than 3% of New York state GDP, the lowest category. With so much of the cuts concentrated in the defense budget, New York will see one of if not the smallest impacts. Then there is the question of how this will affect government employment. One major theory for why the national economic recovery has been so weak is the sharp cutbacks in government jobs. Many economists say that the decline is especially severe because government employment should grow with population. That theory does apply in New York state with its shrinking population. In any event, the loss of government jobs—federal, state and local--has been modest at best as the accompanying charts show. Statewide the decline is 2% with the biggest percentage drops in federal position and in local schools. The city has contracted 4.5% with local government (but not schools) accounting for the biggest number and the feds the biggest percentage declines. New York City schools have seen the smallest impact, down only 2.5%.
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