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 newly released statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau.
The employment figures come from the bureau’s 2007 Census of Governments, which is conducted at five-year intervals in years ending in 2 and 7. This first batch of released data from the 2007 census includes detailed payroll figures.
Local governments accounted for 12.1 million full-time equivalent employees, and state governments had 4.3 million in 2007. 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 then is added to the number of full-time employees.
Local governments include counties, cities, townships, special districts and school districts.
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 percent increase in judicial and legal, and a 10.6 percent decrease in social insurance administration (which includescompensation, public employment services, Social Security, Medicare and railroad retirement trusts).
An online search tool called Build-a-Table is available to help users find data. Users can search for employment and payroll data by state, level of government and function of government for censuses in 1997, 2002 and 2007. For more information, click here.
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.