Government Grew by 177,000 Workers Over Past Year

By Terence P. Jeffrey | February 7, 2020 | 9:30am EST
(Getty Images/Win McNamee)
(Getty Images/Win McNamee)

( - The number of people employed by government in the United States grew by 177,000 from January 2019 to January 2020, rising from 22,506,000 to 22,683,000, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In this January alone, government added 19,000 employees, according to BLS.

The 177,000 workers added to government payrolls over the past year was more than the 155,000 added from January 2018 to January 2019, or the 53,000 added from January 2017 to January 2018.

But it was less than the 184,000 added from January 2016 to January 2017.

In January 2019, there were 22,506,000 people employed by government in the United States. That included 2,811,000 employed by the federal government; 5,170,000 employed by state governments; and 14,525,000 employed by local governments.

(BLS chart on growth in government employment from January 2016 through January 2020)
(BLS chart on growth in government employment from January 2016 through January 2020)

Over the past year, the numbers employed by both the federal government and local governments increased, while the number employed by state governments declined.

Federal employment rose from 2,811,000 in January 2019 to 2,860,000 in January of 2020—an increase of 49,000.

Local government employment rose from 14,525,000 in January 2019 to 14,658,000 in January 2020—an increase of 133,000.

But state government employment dropped from 5,170,000 to 5,165,000—a decline of 5,000.

In the one-month period from December to January, federal employment rose from approximately 2,848,000 to approximately 2,860,000—an increase of 12,000.

Local government employment rose from approximately 14,638,000 in December to approximately 14,658,000 in January—an increase of 20,000.

But state government employed dropped from approximately 5,178,000 in December to approximately 5,165,000 in January—a decline of 12,000.

In January 2016, federal, state and local government in the United States employed 22,118,000. In January 2017, they employed 22,302,000. In January 2018, they employed 22,355,000. In January 2019, they employed 22,506,000. In January 2020, they employed 22,683,000.



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