During and after recession, state governments dropped 189,000 employees

The Great Recession had an unprecedented effect on state and local government employment, as public employment continues to decline more than three years after the recession ended. According to CSG calculations of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, state government employment reached a peak level in the middle of the Great Recession, hitting just above 5.2 million employees in August of 2008.  Since then, state governments collectively have seen a net decrease in employment in 37 out of 59 months, shedding a total of 189,000 jobs. Private sector employment, on the other hand, has seen slow but steady recovery since hitting a low in early 2010.