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Local Government Employment and Payroll By State

U.S. local governments and schools employed 11,937,320 full-time equivalent employees in 2015, according to U.S. Census estimates. After reaching a high in 2009, numbers of government employees dropped following the recession and have since rebounded slightly.

Schools account for just over half of all public employees at the local level. All other areas of local government employ roughly 5 million workers.

Select a state to view payroll and employment data for its local governments:

About the Data

Local governments report total monthly payroll costs for March of each year as part of the Census Bureau’s Annual Survey of Public Employment & Payroll. The Census Bureau publishes aggregate estimated statewide totals for payrolls in each state.

Payroll costs reflect all expenses pertaining to salaries, fees, commissions and overtime paid before withholdings. They do not include retirement, health and other benefits. See the Census Bureau's website for a list of definitions corresponding to each government function type.

Related Readings
Numbers on a spreadsheet.

Local governments in nearly all states reported slight increases in staffing for accounting, budgeting and other areas of public finance.


Hiring has picked up in the past two months, but it's still far behind last year's growth.