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2006-2013: Government jobs up, then down

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By Harold Morgon

Scads of state economic numbers new to me crawled from the darkness a few days ago.
The numbers omitted government, so first, using other numbers, we will consider the performance of our leaders in weaning the state from the dark dependence on government jobs.
The Department of Workforce Solutions is the source of the government figures. An entirely arbitrary choice, Octobers from 2006, 2011 and 2013, provide the comparison. The numbers, for wage jobs, are revised and seasonally unadjusted.
Overall government employment declined during the period. The total, 197,400 in 2006, grew 1,700, or 0.86 percent, by 2011 and declined 4,000, or two percent, to 195,100 two years later.
The federal sector, by far the smallest of the government employers, more than explains the changes. Federal employers hired a net of 2,300 people, a 7.6 percent increase, between October 2006 and 2011. Federal employment dropped 9.2 percent to 29,700 between from October 2011 to 2013.
Federal employment runs about half of the state government total and less than a third of local government. All governments do different things. Geography bounds the activity.


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