State Government Employment: From Peak to Present

According CSG's analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, at its peak in August 2008 state government employment stood at 5.21 million, or around 3.8 percent of total nonfarm employment. Over the next five years, state governments shed 187,000 jobs, landing at 5.03 million in July 2013. As of December 2014, state governments had regained 53,000 positions after hitting a low in July 2013, but have only recovered a little over one-quarter of the positions lost since the August 2008 peak.  In December 2014, state government employment made up 3.6 percent of total nonfarm employment.

From August 2008 to December 2014, a majority of states – 31 – added state government jobs. Colorado added the greatest number of positions – 21,700 – followed by Kentucky (18,500) and California (13,800). State government employment shrunk the most in Louisiana - by 24,800 positions – followed by Georgia with a loss of 15,200 and New York with a loss of 14,500. Over the same period, private sector employment grew by 4.1 million positions, or 3.6 percent.