For state workers, revenue decreases mean job cuts


State and local government workers across the country are losing their jobs as states struggle to bring in revenue during the pandemic. In Texas, overall revenue collections are down more than 3%. And for many Texans, that could mean more job cuts.

Texas leaders have already asked some departments to trim their budgets.

“And that is generally public education, higher education,” said Cal Jillson, professor of political science at SMU in Dallas. He said unlike the federal government, which can run extensive deficits, states are required to balance their budgets.

“So what that means is when your revenues go down, you have to cut almost immediately, and the result of that is a loss of jobs,” Jillson said.

Nationwide, more than a million state and local workers have been furloughed or laid off, according to Michael Leachman at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

“And there are going to be more if the federal government doesn’t step up to the plate and provide substantial fiscal aid,” he said.

And as in Texas, he said those most vulnerable to job cuts nationwide include teachers and health care workers.

Having a job you’re not wild about doesn’t mean you can’t find something to appreciate about it — and right now, as we all try to work through a crisis, finding that something feels especially important.

“Work occupies much of our time. Yet, most workers cannot do the work that they love,” writes bell hooks in her book All About Love. “The good news is that we can all enhance our capacity to live purposefully by learning how to experience satisfaction in whatever work we do.” According to hooks, there are three ways to do that:

  1. Doing work well builds your self-esteem, so whatever you’re doing, give it you're all.
  2. A loving environment can make any job feel worthwhile, so build connections with your colleagues.
  3. Any job can support your inner life. Think about what really matters to you, and how your current job makes that possible.

Remember the saying, “If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with”? We can’t actually vouch for its usefulness in your love life, but when it comes to working, it can make a world of difference.

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