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In Tough Fiscal Times Number of Government Jobs Increases in Most States

December 30, 2011

At a time when some government reform stakeholders are calling for the downsizing of the public sector workforce to help meet challenging fiscal pressures, a recent report by the Business Journals on Numbers, reveals that over the past five years the number of government jobs has increased in 30 states and in the District of Columbia.   The numbers in the report include the total federal, state and local jobs as one reported number.  The State of Texas led the list with more than 77,000 new government created over the five year time period. Virginia, Tennessee, Colorado and Maryland all have increases in the number of public sector jobs of between 20,000 and 30,000.  

Michigan and California experienced the largest loss of government jobs, 48,000 and 47,800, respectively. The largest percentage in lost public sector jobs was in Rhode Island with 8.6%.  New York lost 9,200 government jobs, which is less than 1%.

Economists and policymakers are quick to point out distinctions between downsizing and rightsizing of governments, and many continue to study and debate the impact that the loss of government jobs will have on the economy and whether the private sector will be able to pick up the public sector losses.

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