Under the Dome

State budget cuts fewer jobs than expected

Here’s a wonky fact-check to mull this weekend. 

In the state budget debate this session, Democrats and interest groups tossed out massive numbers -- 14,500, 18,000, 30,000 -- to quantify the jobs Republicans were cutting in the 2012 spending plan.

But the near-final number is actually much less: about 6,455.

The legislative fiscal research division tabulated that figure this week at the request of Rep. Bill Faison, who wants to put state workers back to work with a penny sales tax hike. (For his part, Faison received the numbers moments before his presser started but continued to suggest layoffs reached 14,500.)

This is how the actual layoffs break down:

-- 438 in state agencies and departments

-- 567 in community colleges

-- 2,418 in public schools

-- 3,032 in the UNC system.

The only number that gets close to the original projections from the budget debate is the number of positions eliminated (vacant and filled): 13,403.

Again the breakdown: 1,762 at state agencies and departments; 814 at community colleges; 6,308 at public schools; and 4,519 in the UNC system.

(A few disclaimers: At the community college level, the numbers include 54 of 58 campuses. The public schools figures don’t include Guilford and Duplin counties. And the UNC numbers are estimates. For more on the university cuts, read here.)

Faison and others argue that these figures don’t include the real number of jobs eliminated by the state budget. A N.C. Justice Center report suggested that the reduction in state spending will lead to the loss of 30,000 private sector jobs by 2013.


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Whoa, whoa, whoa!

The way I read this, 13,403 jobs were cut.  That's pretty close to an estimate of 14,500 considering there might be some stragglers out there.  The N&O doesn't need to be so quick to dismiss positions.  

If a position is funded, that means it could be a job for somebody this year.  Ignoring eliminated positions, as if they don't matter, is a slap in the face to the thousands of unemployed North Carolinians looking for work right now.  Those jobs matter to them!

Seems like Democrats were right on target when it comes to this budget!

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