State Government Employment Down in June

According to a new report by the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, state government employment continued its slow slide in June.  From April 2009 to June 2010, state government employment decreased in 28 states, while private employment decreased in 44 states over the same time period. 

In those states with declines, rates varied significantly from a drop of 6.9 percent in Idaho to 0.2 percent in Tennessee, South Dakota and Mississippi.  In 20 states, state government employment increased, ranging from an increase of 0.2 percent in Utah to 3.5 percent in Massachusetts.  Two states – Rhode Island and Wyoming – had no change in employment.

During this same period, private employment decreased in all but six states with decreases ranging from a high of 3.2 percent in Nevada to Hawaii with a decrease of 0.1 percent. The six states with increases in private employment were Alaska (3%), Utah (0.4%), New Hampshire (0.5%), Kentucky (0.6%), Indiana (0.7%) and North Dakota (1.2%). 

According to the report, the disparities between private and state government changes in employment are consistent with past recessions, during which state and local government employment tends to be more stable than private sector employment.  And as in past recessions, state and local government employment changes lag responses in the private sector.  

The Institute averaged state-by-state seasonally unadjusted data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for April through June.  For more information on their methodology and to read the full report, follow this link:




Data Source for Charts:  Report authors Donald J. Boyd’s and Lucy Dadayan’s (Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government) calculations of Bureau of Labor Statistics data.