Local Governments Record Hiring Uptick in July

They added the most jobs last month in a year. But employment for the sector is still well below prior levels.

The latest job estimates from the U.S. Department of Labor suggest that hiring by local governments and schools has picked up somewhat in recent months. The sector added 30,000 jobs in July, the largest monthly increase in a year.

Since December, local governments have added 58,000 noneducation jobs nationally, an increase of about 1 percent. Employment for the sector, however, is still well below prior levels.

After incurring steep losses in the aftermath of the Great Recession, employment remained relatively flat until 2014. The Labor Department’s July estimates for noneducation local government employment are still about 100,000 positions below their peak and are much further behind if population growth is taken into consideration.

Education employment, which accounts for more than half of local public-sector jobs, hasn’t changed quite as much. Schools have added an estimated 38,000 jobs since December.

Still, some big-city districts continue with new rounds of layoffs. Baltimore and Paterson, N.J., schools are among the larger districts cutting staff earlier this summer.

Select a government sector to view changes in employment over time: