Louisiana has higher than average percentage of public sector workers

The Biden administration has proposed a $6 trillion budget aimed at improving infrastructure, education, and health care, which could also usher in the reversal of a long term-trend of declining government employment.

Over the past decade, the number of Americans employed by governments at the local, state, and federal levels has fallen from 22.5 million in 2010 to 21.9 million in 2020, a 2.6% drop, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nationwide, the public sector accounts for 15.4% of all employment. Depending on the state, the share of all jobs in the public sector ranges from less than 13% to over 25%. 

According to The Center Square, in Louisiana, 17.3% of the state workforce is employed by the government—either at the state, local, or federal level—the 17th highest share of all states. In keeping with the national trend, the number of government workers in Louisiana has decreased in recent years. There are currently 318,000 public sector workers in the state, down 13.8% from 2010.

States with a larger than typical share of public sector workers typically have higher than average government spending on a per capita basis. Louisiana is an exception, however. Per capita state and local government spending in the state totaled $9,518 in 2019, compared to the $10,131 national average. Read the full story.