As private sector hiring slows, government is on the rise 

U.S. Capitol building in Washington D.C.

Many companies have instituted hiring freezes this year and several sectors from tech to finance have laid off thousands of works, but the government is laying out the welcome mat, The Wall Street Journal reports.  

Public-sector jobs at the federal, state and local level have risen by 327,000 positions so far in 2023, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That is approaching one-fifth of all new American jobs created in the first eight months of the year. In contrast, public-sector jobs accounted for 5% of employment growth during the equivalent period last year.

“After two years of very underwhelming government hiring, it’s a necessary catch-up,” says Julia Pollak, an economist at online jobs site ZipRecruiter.

Much of the recent hiring spree has been to backfill jobs left open by millions of teachers, police officers and other public servants who quit during the pandemic. Other roles at government agencies languished because the public sector couldn’t effectively compete against private employers that were offering pay raises and signing bonuses to attract talent during several years of a white-hot labor market. 

This year’s growth in public-sector jobs represents the highest share of overall U.S. payroll gains since 2001, when the government hired masses of workers focused on public safety after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Pollak said. Read the full story.