Number of Federal Employees Surpasses Manufacturing Sector Employees

Federal Budget

The numbers of federal employees have been steadily increasing since the last few decades. This interesting fact was revealed in the data shared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In the good part of the last century, the number of manufacturing workers was higher than the number of federal employees, but these numbers started to decline since 1989. In the last year, the seasonally adjusted manufacturing employment has fallen drastically which contributes to making it seem that the federal employees are more in numbers.

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How Many Federal Employees are there in the US Presently?

If the data shared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics is to be believed, the federal employees, state employees, and the local government employees are about 22,213,000 in August 2016. In comparison, the numbers of manufacturing workers are just 12,281,000. Hence, the feds beat the manufacturing workers by 9,932,000.

The Changes Over the Decades

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has shared detailed data regarding employment of feds and manufacturing workers. It went back to 1939. The data shows that from 1939 to 1989, the number of manufacturing sector employees were more than government workers in the United States. But in August 1989, the seasonally adjusted employment numbers for the government beat the workers employed in the manufacturing sector.

In that historic month, the manufacturing employees were 17,964,000 while the government workers were 17,989,000. The difference is slight but it marked an important change in the employment data of the US.

The Peak

It is an interesting fact that just a decade before the manufacturing sector employed fewer workers than the government, the number of manufacturing sector workers was at its peak. In 1979, this sector employed 19,553,000 workers.

The Recent Data

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has shared the most recent data also. As per that data, the employment of seasonally-adjusted manufacturing sector employees saw a decline of 37,000 as it reduced from 12,318,000 in August 2015 to 12,281,000 in August 2016.

Bifurcation of Government Employees

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has also shared the number of government employees hired by the local, state and federal governments. As per that data, about 2,790,000 were federal employees, 5,120,000 were the number of state government employees while 14,303,000 were the local government employees. After studying this data, it is clear that the government likes to employ more personnel at the local government level as compared to state and federal workers.

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