Yesterday I posted Private vs. public payrolls in Georgia since 2008 to Peach Pundit.

There’s lots of raw data in the post, and this snippet:

A few observations:

  • Just as employment is a lagging indicator generally, public employment declines have lagged private sector declines in this downturn. We will likely see government employment fall below that 16.6% level of 2008.
  • Federal and state government employment in Georgia declined from June 2011 to June 2012, with declines in both Dept. of Defense employment and in State Government Educational Services.
  • Local government employment in Georgia actually increased 1.9% between June 2011 and June 2012, although Local Government Educational Services employment fell 0.6% in that time.
  • Georgia’s private sector increased employment by a decent 1.4% over the past year.
  • If we subtract the number of defense jobs, we’ve seen a decline in other federal jobs since 2008.
  • Without the steep declines in education jobs, Georgia’s local governments have actually added a few jobs over the last four years.
  • Of the total decline from June 2008 to June 2012 of 20,400 in government payrolls, 14,700 of those job losses were in local education.

While I have all the data in front of me, here are the changes in public vs. private employment in the Savannah metro area (Chatham, Effingham, and Bryan counties), with June 2012 compared to June 2008.

In June 2008, the Savannah metro area had 160,000 payroll jobs (“Proprietors, domestic workers, self-employed persons, unpaid family workers and personnel of the armed forces are excluded”).

Of that 160,000, 137,400 were private jobs while 22,600 were in government. That 14.1% working for government is less than the state as a whole.

The local data is broken down by federal, state, and local employment, but is not further broken down for defense and education as the state-level data is.

But of that 22,600 in public employment in June 2008, here’s the breakdown:
Federal: 2,900
State: 4,800
Local: 14,900

Probably about half of those local and state government employees work in education.

In June 2012, we had 152,400 payroll jobs, with 22,700 public. So there was a pretty steep drop in private employment, but public employment is actually up.

Here’s the breakdown of that 22,700 in public employment in June 2012:
Federal: 3,200
State: 4,900
Local: 14,600

Another key point from my Peach Pundit post:

It’s obviously important to remember that many government agencies and departments did not see the same collapse in demand that the private sector saw. Much of the government workload (education, sanitation, law enforcement, etc.) is directly proportionate to the size of the population, not to economic activity.

From Calculated Risk on the general trend in the nation for state and local employment:

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