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Posts tagged with: "CES9091100001"

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Of the people: Federal and local government employment

Here, FRED shows us the total number of U.S. federal government employees over time. Take a minute to examine the graph… For one thing, it sure is spikey. The highest level was during World War II, and the next highest was during the war in Korea. Clearly, war has driven this type of employment. There are also short spikes every ten years, which correspond to temporary hires for the census, including the spike in April 2009. Overall, these spikes have grown as the U.S. population has grown. What may be surprising is that there hasn’t been any significant upward trend, despite substantial population growth—in fact, the U.S. population has more than doubled over this period.

The graph below shows state and local government employment, and the story here is quite different: Except during the recent recessions, both these have grown steadily, despite the fact their growth isn’t affected by wars or the census.

How these graphs were created: Look for the Current Employment Statistics (Establishment Data) releases and select Table B-1. Choose “Federal, except U.S. Postal Service” for the first graph. For the second graph, select the three series shown and add them to the graph.

Suggested by Christian Zimmermann.

View on FRED, series used in this post: CES9091100001, CES9092000001, CES9093000001

Government employment in the US

This graph shows government employment as a share of the civilian labor force. The blue line is local government, the red line is state government, and the green line is federal government not including the postal service. (The latter two series use the right scale.) The regular upticks for federal employment correspond to temporary census workers. The recent evolution, however, looks uncharacteristic: local and state employment are currently on a slide that has not been seen since the late 1970s. On the other hand, federal employment follows abump up, likely as a result of the stimulus program.

How this graph was created
: Select Civilian Labor Force, add the series Local Government Employment to same line, then apply the equation b/a. Repeat for the other two series, selecting the scale to the right. Adjust the sample to start in 1955. Save.

Suggested by Christian Zimmermann

View on FRED, series used in this post: CES9091100001, CES9092000001, CES9093000001, CLF16OV

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