Government Employment up 301,000 in July

By Terence P. Jeffrey | August 7, 2020 | 9:06am EDT
(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

( - The number of people working for government in the United States increased by 301,000 last month, climbing from 21,319,000 in June to 21,620,000 in July, according to the jobs numbers released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Part of that increase was caused by the federal government hiring 27,000 temporary workers to work on the 2020 Census, according to BLS.

Even with that one-month increase of 301,000, the number of people working for government in the United States is still down from the high of 22,745,000 it hit in February of this year.  The 21,620,000 working for government in July was 1,125,000 below that February level.

“Government employment rose by 301,000 in July but is 1.1 million below its February level,” the BLS said in it July jobs report.

“Typically, public-sector education employment declines in July (before seasonal adjustment),” BLS said. “However, employment declines occurred earlier than usual this year due to the pandemic, resulting in unusually large July increases in local government education (+215,000) andstate government education (+30,000) after seasonal adjustment.

This chart shows the trend in government jobs from January 2009 through July 2020:


“A July job gain in federal government (+27,000) reflected the hiring of temporary workers for the 2020 Census,” the BLS explained.

The number of people employed by the federal government increased 27,000 in the last month, climbing from 2,885,000 in June to 2,912,000 in July, according to the BLS report.

The last time the federal government employed more than it did this July was in the last Census year—2010—when it employed a high of 3,416,000 in May, then 3,193,000 in June, 3,051,000 in July and 2,945,000 in August. In September of 2010, federal employment dropped to 2,896,000 and did not exceed to 2,900,000 again until this month.

The number of people employed by state government rose by 33,000 last month, climbing from 4,966,000 in June to 4,999,000 in July. But state government employment is still down 200,000 from its February level of 5,199,000.

The number of people employed by local governments increased by 241,000 in the last month, climbing from 13,468,000 in June to 13,709,000 in July. However, it is still down 971,000 from its March level of 14,680,000.

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