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U.S. Census Bureau as authorized by Title 13, United States Code, Section 161 for Census years and 182 for non-Census years.


Measure the number of state and local civilian government employees and their gross monthly payroll for March of the survey year.


The survey provides state and local government full- and part-time employment, full-time equivalent employment, and payroll statistics by governmental function, such as financial administration, other government administration, judicial and legal, police protection (persons with power of arrest and other police protection), fire protection (firefighters and other fire protection), corrections, highways, air transportation, sea and inland port facilities, public welfare, health, hospitals, social insurance administration, solid waste management, sewerage, parks and recreation, housing and community development, natural resources, water supply, electric power, gas supply, transit, elementary and secondary education (instructional and other elementary and secondary education), higher education (instructional and other higher education), other education, libraries, and state liquor stores. Beginning with the release of the 2019 Annual Survey of Public & Payroll, Part-time hours are no longer included in the content that is collected and published.


Data have been collected annually since 1957 with the exception of 1996. There was no Annual Survey of Public Employment & Payroll for 1996. The base reporting period for measuring employment and payrolls was changed from October to March. This change became effective with the 1997 Census of Governments. A census is conducted every five years (years ending in ‘2’ and ‘7’). A sample of state and local governments is used to collect data in the intervening years. A new sample is selected every five years (years ending in ‘4’ and ‘9’).


Viewable summary tables for each state for each level of government and downloadable data files including summary tables, files of individual government data and files of county area data. Data are presented in total and by function.

How Data Are Used

The U.S. Congress, federal agencies, state and local governments, educational and research organizations, and the general public employ these results. Some major uses include the following:

  • Development of the government component of the gross domestic product estimates
  • Development of the national income accounts
  • Development of personal income figures for state and county areas
  • Allocation of certain federal grant funds
  • Legislative research
  • Wage and salary negotiations by state and local governments
  • Comparative studies of state and local government employment

Contact Us

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