NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Fewer Jobs In Washington -- But More in State Capitals

August 20, 2001

During the 1990s, the federal government followed a separate path from state and local governments when it came to hiring workers. Washington shed jobs, while states and municipalities added to their payrolls, according to Census Bureau data.

  • Overall, government jobs have slipped as a share of total employment -- down to 16 percent in 2000 from 17 percent in 1990.
  • Over that period, the federal work force was trimmed by more than 300,000 employees.
  • Meanwhile, state and local payrolls increased by nearly 18 percent -- or 2.7 million workers.
  • The education sector and police protection each added 20 percent more workers -- while hospital jobs fell 13 percent.

Education accounts for more than half of total non-federal government employment. While public school enrollments expanded 13 percent during the 1990s, they are projected to rise only about 3 percent from 2000 to 2010.

Source: Charles J. Whalen, "Economic Trends: Uncle Sam Isn't Hiring," Business Week, August 27, 2001.


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