State governments employed just over 4.3 million workers nationwide in 2015, more than double the total 50 years ago. State payrolls have been mostly flat recently after years of steady growth leading up to the recession.
Select a state in the tool below to view its public employee jobs totals since 1960. Government employment data shown also includes statistics for the following types of state 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. Those working at colleges and universities account for nearly half (43 percent) of total public employment at the state level.
Employment statistics were reported by state governments to the U.S. Census Bureau. Definitions describing types of employees for job types shown are available in the Census Bureau’s classification manual, beginning on page 373.