The nation may have gotten a terrible jobs report for August, but there was one part of the economy that’s doing pretty well. Unemployment among government workers is at 5.1 percent, the lowest in the nation.
The unemployment rate for government wage and salaries workers dropped from 5.7 percent in July to 5.1 percent in August. At the same time, the number of government wage and salary workers counted as unemployed dropped by 123,000 people from 1,182,000 in July to 1,059,000 in August.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics counts someone as a government wage and salary worker if they are not in the military and they are currently employed by any level of government—local, state or federal—or they are unemployed, they are looking for work and their last job was for any level of government.
If the job participation rate (the number of Americans considered to be in the work force) were the same as when President Obama took office, the unemployment rate would be 11.2 percent. We are now at the lowest level of civilian employment as a percent of the total since we began keeping statistics. Perhaps, just perhaps, there is a relationship between the lack of civilian jobs and the increase in government employment.
For every new program that Local, State or Federal government initiates, there is a new bureaucracy and wave of hiring. If you’re not in government and not in the half that pays no taxes, you’re paying for it.