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States With Most Government Employees: Totals and Per Capita Rates

Data shows concentrations of public employees for each state.

Nationally, state and local governments employed about 7.4 million full-time equivalent (FTE) workers in 2014. That's approximately 232 public employees for every 10,000 Americans, according to Governing calculations of Census survey data. Including teachers and those working in education, the total more than doubles to about 16.2 million public employees (excluding federal government) nationwide.

Across states, government employment statistics vary greatly. Unique circumstances tend to account for high or very low concentrations of public employment. Wyoming, for example, employs the most public employees per capita largely due to the public hospitals that it operates. It's followed by Alaska, which has far more natural resources and highways workers than other states.

The following table lists numbers of state and local full-time equivalent (FTE) employees per 10,000 residents. Education employment accounts for roughly half the workforce, so it’s excluded from these calculations. How responsibilities are divided between states and their localities varies considerably, so combined state and local government employment provides for a more comprehensive measure than totals for only state government.

StateState/Local FTE EmploymentState/Local FTEs Per 10K Pop.State Gov. FTE EmploymentState FTEs Per 10K Pop.
Indiana131,76220030,22346
Illinois264,21120563,19949
Ohio262,31822663,62755
Florida424,961213111,10256
Wisconsin114,56519933,32158
California883,408228235,97361
Nevada53,69018917,73362
Arizona128,80319142,07663
Colorado129,93324333,78563
Texas562,650209176,44465
Tennessee154,62423642,86065
Michigan182,39118467,02468
Georgia217,87221668,46368
Minnesota121,74022341,58676
Pennsylvania257,45920198,79177
North Carolina258,93326079,08580
Virginia188,52222668,07282
Iowa73,08923525,90783
New Hampshire27,84321011,40286
Idaho37,04022714,19587
Washington183,24825964,03991
Alabama138,75828644,04591
New York623,162316179,78591
South Carolina123,45125644,38192
Missouri145,32424055,89092
Massachusetts139,42920663,41794
Oklahoma89,70723136,45494
Kansas79,08727227,30194
Utah63,42221527,98595
Maryland133,94622456,90695
Louisiana132,11328445,28897
South Dakota19,3182268,552100
Kentucky97,17322044,292100
New Jersey205,21123089,732100
Maine28,64921513,424101
Nebraska54,52729019,067101
Oregon95,29024042,360107
Connecticut75,78221141,355115
Rhode Island21,98120812,379117
Arkansas71,04823935,172119
Mississippi91,03630435,782120
Montana26,87226312,817125
New Mexico55,98726826,646128
North Dakota20,4042769,936134
West Virginia44,64524124,917135
Vermont14,6802349,132146
Hawaii37,58326521,072148
Wyoming26,0734469,340160
Delaware23,72125317,806190
Alaska28,85839218,057245

Figures represent aggregate totals for noneducation public employees. See note below. SOURCE: Governing calculations of U.S. Census Bureau 2014 Annual Survey of Public Employment & Payroll data

Public Employment by Job Classification

Select a state to view per capita numbers of government workers and public payroll spending given a state's total personal income for each government function. National 50-state averages are shown for comparison.

Data notes:


  • Data are not intended to measure government efficiency or quality of public services.
  • Read an explanation of factors behind variations in public employment.
  • Figures do not reflect federal employees or contract workers. The Census survey data also excludes unpaid public officials, volunteers and those who work on a fee basis.
  • Definitions describing job classification types shown are available in the Census Bureau’s classification manual, beginning on page 373.
  • Payroll amounts, which cover only the month of March 2014, reflect salaries, wages, fees, commissions and overtime before withholdings. They do not include health insurance, retirement and other benefits.

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