Government employment and the 2001 recession

November 16, 2004

Total government employment grew during the 2001 recession.

Government employment, 2003
[Chart data—TXT]

Local government gained 33,000 jobs per month during the recession, split equally between the education and noneducation components. Local education is the largest component within government, as shown in the chart, and typically adds a noteworthy number of jobs each year.

During the 2001 recession, State government added 16,000 jobs per month. Education accounted for 90 percent of State employment growth during this period.

Opposing employment trends in Federal Government resulted in flatness in that government component during the 2001 recession. Small employment declines in the U.S. Postal Service offset small gains elsewhere in the Federal sector.

These data are from the Current Employment Statistics program, a monthly survey that provides industry data on employment, hours, and earnings of workers on nonfarm payrolls. To learn more about recent trends in government employment, see "Employment in the public sector: two recessions’ impact on jobs," by Julie Hatch, in the Monthly Labor Review, October 2004.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Government employment and the 2001 recession on the Internet at (visited September 27, 2016).


Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics

  • A look at healthcare spending, employment, pay, benefits, and prices
    As one of the largest U.S. industries, healthcare is steadily growing to meet the needs of an increasing population with an increasing life expectancy. This Spotlight looks at how much people spend on healthcare, current and projected employment in the industry, employer-provided healthcare benefits, healthcare prices, and pay for workers in healthcare occupations.

  • Employment and Wages in Healthcare Occupations
    Healthcare occupations are a significant percentage of U.S. employment. Some of the largest and highest paying occupations are in healthcare. This Spotlight examines employment and wages for healthcare occupations.

  • Fifty years of looking at changes in peoples lives
    Longitudinal surveys help us understand long-term changes, such as how events that happened when a person was in high school affect labor market success as an adult.