Rasmussen: Gov’t workers a lot more optimistic on economy than private sector

posted at 12:55 pm on December 28, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Rasmussen discovered an interesting, but entirely predictable, trend in its consumer-confidence polling.  While a near majority of private-sector employees see the economy as deteriorating, the opposite is true of public-sector employees.  Forty-six percent of government workers think the economy is improving:

Government employees are much more bullish about the economy than those who work in the private sector. That’s a big change from the beginning of the year when those on the public payroll were a bit more pessimistic than private sector workers.

Data from the Rasmussen Consumer Index from the past seven days shows that a plurality of government workers think the economy is getting better while those who work in the private sector tend to have the opposite view. Those in the government sector are also more upbeat about the current state of the economy and their own personal finances.

Today, 46% of government employees say the economy is getting better while just 31% say it’s getting worse. Among those who work in the private sector, the numbers are reversed: 32% say better and 49% worse.

Twenty-four percent (24%) of government employees rate the economy as good or excellent while just nine percent (9%) of those in the private sector are so upbeat.

Fifty-five percent (55%) in the private sector rate the economy as poor, a pessimism shared by 38% of those on the public payroll.

Why might that be?  For one thing, government work has been a growth industry over the last few years.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the rapid increase of government employment since the last recession ended in 2003.  While the number contracted slightly in the middle of 2009, government jobs have already begun growing again.  At the moment, the level of government jobs is only 35,000 off from its August 2008 peak:

Compare that to the curve seen for the private sector, where over 3 million jobs have disappeared in Barack Obama’s first year (111,793,000 in January to 108,495,000 in November):

The Democratic agenda includes bailouts for states and rapid expansion of federal oversight in the energy and health-care sectors.  What government worker wouldn’t be encouraged by that kind of job security?

Small wonder Obama and his government employees keep talking about the “recovery.”  They seem to be focused like a laser on adding more government jobs, and clueless about the private sector losses.

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