U.S. government jobs outnumber manufacturing jobs by nearly 2:1
By Evan Lips | September 10, 2015, 13:19 EDT
Seasonally-adjusted data pulled from U.S. Department of Labor reports show that there are nearly twice as many Americans working for federal, state and local government than there are working in the manufacturing industry.
Preliminary numbers for the month of August, according to the department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, place the amount of government workers at about 22 million, or approximately 21,995,000. The number of manufacturing jobs totaled about 12.3 million, or approximately 12,329,000.
Data on the BLS website can be searched all the way back to 1939. That year, manufacturing jobs in the U.S. topped out in December at 9,949,0000 while government jobs in December 1939 totaled 4,134,000.
According to the BLS, manufacturing jobs since 1939 hit an all-time high of 19,553,000 in June 1979. Government jobs reached a peak of 22,996,000 in May 2010.
The first time the number of government jobs surpassed the number of manufacturing jobs occurred in August 1989, when government jobs totaled 17,989,000 with the amount of manufacturing jobs checking in at 17,964,000.
The following graphs show the trajectory for both lines of work, dating back to 1939: