Jim Golembeski, executive director of the Bay Area Workforce Development Board, which administers WIA services at five regional jobs centers and three smaller sites in 10 counties in Northeastern Wisconsin, says he would have to shut down his operation if the cuts are approved. As a result, about 30 people would be out of work, he said, in addition to many others who would not receive needed services it provides. The House-passed bill would eliminate funding for the remainder of the current fiscal year and provide no money for fiscal year 2012, which begins Oct. 1, according to an analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Wisconsin would lose $12.5 million in funding for the program for the rest of the calendar year, affecting 23,700 participants in the programs serving adults, dislocated workers and youths.
As a Keynesian economist, I would argue that the reduction in government spending leads to a further reduction in aggregate demand, which not only means the loss the 30 jobs that Mr. Golembeski refers to but likely some private sector jobs via the multiplier effect. I guess Republican politicians might argue that this Keynesian emphasis on aggregate demand is misplaced preferring to argue that high unemployment is due to a mismatch of worker skills and the needs of employers. Even if one held this view – how does eliminating a program that is designed to enhance worker skills do anything but make the labor market situation worse?