Government Employment Remains Stagnant in New Jobs Report

As the recovery drags on, state and local government payrolls aren't expanding.
by | September 6, 2013

The latest jobs report from the Labor Department suggests hiring still hasn’t picked up, with the economy adding a meager 169,000 jobs last month.

As the recovery drags on, most state and local government payrolls haven’t yet expanded, either.

Non-education local government employment remained at nearly the same levels in August from July. The Labor Department also revised down its previous July estimate by 17,000 jobs.

An uptick in education jobs with the start of the new school year pushed up overall local government employment by 20,000 for the month. This single month of growth isn’t as strong as the figure might suggest, though. Although the Labor Department figures are seasonally adjusted, local government employment recorded a similar increase (+22,000 jobs) in August of last year while employment declined nearly every other month.

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State government payrolls decreased slightly, by 3,000 in August, the sector’s fifth consecutive month of declining employment. The data doesn’t indicate any increase in hiring for colleges and universities, with state government education estimates remaining nearly unchanged. As we reported last month, state government employment has fallen to the lowest level in more than eight years.

Total nonfarm employment growth for August fell slightly below most analysts' expectations. Job gains for June and July -- which also weren't great -- were revised down by a combined 74,000 positions.

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