In the first three years after the court’s pro-arbitration ruling in AT&T Mobility ( T ) v. Concepcion in 2011, the number of companies using arbitration clauses to preclude employee class actions jumped from % to %, according to a survey by Carlton Fields Jorden Burt, a consulting firm that advises employers. A more recent survey , whose results were published just this week by the Economic Policy Institute, reports that million private-sector, nonunion employees in the . are now subject to class waivers contained in arbitration clauses.
States also have used federal assistance to avert spending cuts. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, enacted in February 2009, gave states roughly $140 billion over a two-and-a-half year period to help fund ongoing programs, including enhanced funding for Medicaid and funding for K-12 and higher education. In August 2010, the federal government provided states an additional six months of enhanced Medicaid funding and an additional $10 billion in education funding. In state after state, it is abundantly clear that spending and service cuts in health care, education, human services, public safety, and other areas would have been much deeper had the federal funds not been available.  As noted above, however, federal fiscal relief will be largely exhausted by the end of states’ 2011 fiscal year, even though states are projecting substantial budget gaps for fiscal year 2012 and beyond. If the federal aid expires before state budgets have recovered, states will lose a critical tool for avoiding pro-cyclical actions such as budget cuts and tax increases that could slow the economic recovery even further.