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2007 Census of Governments Counts 16 Million State and Local Employees

     The nation's 89,526 state and local governments employed 16.4 million full-time equivalent employees in 2007, a 4.5 percent increase from 2002, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

     These State and Local Government Employment and Payroll figures are the first comprehensive data to be released from the 2007 Census of Governments. Local governments include counties, cities, townships, special districts and school districts. Individual state descriptions of government structures are available online.

     Local governments accounted for 12.1 million full-time equivalent employees, and state governments had 4.3 million. The number of full-time equivalent employees is equal to the number of hours worked by part-time employees divided by the standard number of hours for a full-time employee. The result is then added to the number of full-time employees.

     Most full-time equivalent state and local employees worked in education (8.8 million), hospitals (989,000), police protection (933,000) and corrections (731,000).

     Local governments saw a 5.5 percent increase in full-time equivalent employment between 2002 and 2007. The largest increase was in hospitals (12.7 percent), followed by fire protection (9.8 percent), education (6.0 percent) and police (5.5 percent).

     State governments experienced a 1.9 percent growth in full-time equivalent employees between 2002 and 2007. Notable changes in state government employment over the period were an 8.0 percent increase in judicial and legal, and a 10.6 percent decrease in social insurance administration (which includes unemployment compensation, public employment services, Social Security, Medicare and railroad retirement trusts).

     An online search tool known as Build-a-Table is now available to help users find data. Users can search for employment and payroll data by state, level of government (i.e. state, local, or state and local combined) and function of government (i.e. education, health, highways) for censuses in 1997, 2002 and 2007.

     The census of governments is taken at five-year intervals in years ending in 2 and 7. The Census Bureau also conducts an annual public employment survey that provides estimates for years in which the census is not conducted and parallels that of the census of governments.

Although the 2007 Census of Government Employment and Payroll data are not subject to sampling variability, the data are subject to coverage errors and errors from missing or misreported data. Further information about the methodology and data limitations is available at <http://www2.census.gov/govs/apes/07_methodology.pdf>. In order to minimize errors, quality assurance procedures are applied to all phases of collection, processing and tabulation.
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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | PIO@census.gov | Last Revised: February 10, 2014