This recent USA Today article examined the trends in state and local government workforces across the country for the year Sept. 2009 thru Sept. 2010.
In the past year, state and local employment has been reduced, mostly through not filling vacancies, by 258,000, or 1.3%, to 19.2 million workers, reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The cuts are the most since the recession of 1980-81. The federal workforce, meanwhile, grew 3.4% to 2.2 million in the past year.
Three-fourths of the state and local job cuts have occurred in five states: New Jersey, New York, California, Ohio and Michigan. Nationwide, 35 states reduced government payrolls in the past year while 15 states increased employment.
Not included in the online version, but added to the print version, is a ranking of the five states with the largest percentage decline and increase in state and local government employment. Unsurprisingly, the state with the largest percentage increase in state and local government workers, at 4.1%, is North Carolina.
We’re continually told that during this recession, governments at all levels across the state have “cut to the bone” and are struggling mightily. The data suggests otherwise.