A blogsite, “Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis” recently aggregated a selection of news stories covering state and local government budget deficits and proposed layoffs. Click here to link to the post. There are a few differences between private sector layoff announcements and the public sector that are worth pointing out. The private sector typically announces layoff actions that are already decided. There is little incentive to inflate the numbers. On the other hand, public sector layoff announcements are typically proposals, made in the context of budget negotiations and ultimately subject to the influence of many constituencies: unions, elected officials, civil servants, and service beneficiaries. I don’t believe it’s common practice for the private sector to lists vacant job positions in their layoff numbers. Governments typically count the position that has been budgeted for and maybe even funds were appropriated but the position was not filled.