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Local Governments Account for All Public-Sector Job Growth This Year

Meanwhile, the latest Labor Department data shows states and the federal government have shed workers.

U.S. Labor Department data published this morning shows steady job gains for local government.

The sector posted an increase of 11,000 jobs last month after adding 12,000 positions in April. (April estimates were revised down from preliminary figures reporting an increase of 17,000). 

Monthly shifts in public employee jobs are often driven by swings in education employment as school districts hire or lay off teachers. That wasn’t the case this past month, though, as non-education local government employment climbed 18,000, while education-related jobs dipped just 6,600.

State government employment changed little, losing an estimated 5,000 positions for the month.

The federal government, meanwhile, continues to shed workers as agency budgets remain tight. May marked the sixth consecutive month of job cuts for the sector.

So far this year, all public-sector employment growth has occurred at the local level. Here are job tallies for the year, comparing new estimates to December totals:

  • Local government: +48,000
  • State government: -2,000
  • Federal: -31,000

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Mike Maciag is Data Editor for GOVERNING.
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