State governments employed nearly 4.4 million workers nationwide in 2016. Recently, numbers of state government workers have remained relatively flat after growing in the years leading up to the Great Recession.
Select a state below to view its public employee job totals since 1960. In addition to statewide totals, statistics include separate numbers for the following classifications 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. Education accounts for the single largest segment of the workforce as colleges and universities account for nearly half of total public employment at the state level.
Employment statistics were reported by state governments to the U.S. Census Bureau, with the latest data current as of March 2016. Definitions describing types of employees for job types shown are available in the Census Bureau’s classification manual.
SOURCE: U.S. Census Bureau Annual Survey of Public Employment and Payroll
NOTE: The Census Bureau did not conduct a survey of governments in 1996. The agency also changed its methodology for computing full-time equivalent employment in 1986
UPDATED: Sept. 28, 2017
Local governments in nearly all states reported slight increases in staffing for accounting, budgeting and other areas of public finance.
A few areas of state government appear to be shrinking nationwide.
Hiring has picked up in the past two months, but it's still far behind last year's growth.