For all the talk of public-sector downsizing, the trend among most state and local governments is in the other direction. Driven in part by school hiring, state and local government employment is up over the past year by about 1.5%.
Leading the public hiring parade is Texas, which has added 42,000 jobs in state and local government over the past year, about 60% of them in education. At the other end of the spectrum is New York--in particular, New York City. Over the past year, the Big Apple has cut some 26,000 government jobs, or some 6% of its payroll, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those cuts put it far ahead of the rest of the country in terms of government downsizing.
Perhaps the strangest case is California. Despite the state's well-publicized fiscal difficulties, its state and local governments added some 20,000 workers over the past year. And what about hard-pressed Orange County? So far, the local government has trimmed about 1,500 out of 90,000 jobs from its payroll, with many more cuts likely to come.