State governments employed just over 4.3 million workers nationwide in 2014, more than double the total 50 years ago. Some state payrolls recorded slight declines after years of slow growth leading up to the recession, while others have stabilized.
Those working at colleges and universities account for nearly half (43 percent) of total public employment at the state level. Select a state in the tool below to display its employment data since 1960. Employment data includes figures for the following types of government employees: corrections, elementary/secondary education, health, higher education, highways, hospitals, natural resources, parks and recreation, police, public welfare and social insurance administration. All figures refer to full-time equivalent (FTE) employees.
Employment statistics were compiled from the Census Bureau, which conducts a Census of Governments every five years along with the Annual Survey of Public Employment & Payroll.