As Feds Make Cuts, Local Government Employment Ticks Up

While the federal government began to feel the effects of the sequester, localities have added jobs in recent months.
by | June 7, 2013 AT 3:00 PM

The federal government felt the effects of across-the-board spending cuts last month, shedding 14,000 jobs after a decline of 11,000 positions in April, according to today’s jobs report.

At the same time, local government employment has showed signs of steadily improving in recent months. Preliminary estimates suggest localities added 13,000 jobs last month, the sector’s best month since last August.

Both public education and non-education employment recorded similar gains.

Previously-released preliminary employment figures had indicated a small drop in local government employment each of the past three months, but the Labor Department made significant revisions to March and April estimates that now suggest employment increased, albeit only slightly.

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Of course, the new estimates are subject to revision as well.

It’s also difficult to gauge the full extent to which the sequester hit the federal workforce. Many agencies haven’t yet made cuts, and the Labor Department’s estimates do not include federal contractors.

State government employment has continued to remain stable, fluctuating very little over the past three months.

The national economy added an estimated 175,000 jobs last month, while the jobless rate increased from 7.5 percent to 7.6 percent.