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  • Sandi Jackson

“Efficiency” and “savings” have their price.

Over the last five years, the third-largest employer in the city of Chicago has cut more than 5,800 jobs, most of them held by residents of black and Hispanic neighborhoods already struggling with unemployment, foreclosures, disinvestment, and dwindling public services.

That employer, of course, is the city of Chicago. Under Mayor Rahm Emanuel and predecessor Richard M. Daley, the city downsized its payroll from about 39,600 in 2006 to 33,800 this past fall, and hundreds of additional job cuts are budgeted for this year. These figures don’t include thousands of other layoffs in the city schools, parks, CTA, or housing authority.