U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics figures released today show employees on local government payrolls plummeted by 35,000 in September, the largest decline of any industry.
The overall seasonally-adjusted loss of workers on all government payrolls was 34,000 for the month.
Fewer employees in education accounted for most of the decrease, with a 24,400 decline. Florida, North Carolina and Pennsylvania are among states where significant numbers of teachers have recently been laid off.
Employment figures for the federal and state governments fluctuated only slightly in September.
While local government employment dropped, other industries reported modest gains. Private sector service-providing added an estimated 119,000 jobs in September.
Across all nonfarm industries, there was a 103,000 uptick in payroll employment for September. The national unemployment rate remained unchanged at 9.1 percent.
Payroll numbers were boosted, in part, by the return of about 45,000 telecommunications workers who had been on strike in August.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics is scheduled to release regional and state unemployment figures Oct. 21.