In United States, 17% work for the government

From a new Gallup poll, we find that 1.7 of 10 American workers work for the government. That figure includes all local, state and federal workers, but unfortunately the survey does not break down the job function (military,teachers, fire, police…).

I’m certain it’s not a state secret and we could figure out the breakdown somewhere, but I’m interested in comments from readers about the 17 percent figure. Is the percentage of government workers increasing, and if so, is that a good thing?

My general thought on this matter is well known, if you can find the service in the yellow pages or the government is in competition with the private sector for the service – i.e. public versus private education – you’ll find in most cases the private sector does a better job and I think the public sector should recluse themselves from the service.

Should we be moving jobs from the private to the public sector? Is that good or bad?

Read the full post over at Gallup. A taste…

The findings reflect interviews with 98,755 adults, employed full-time or part-time, conducted Jan. 2-June 30, 2010, as part of Gallup Daily tracking. Gallup asks employed Americans first if they work for the government, then whether they work for federal, state, or local government.

The five states with the highest percentage of government workers also have the highest percentage of federal workers, which is much of what sets them apart from the rest of the nation.

The U.S. Postal Service is the nation’s top federal employer, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, accounting for 23% of government jobs across the country.

The U.S. military is another major government employer, with bases spread throughout the nation, including in several of the states with high percentages of government workers. North Carolina, for example, is home to Ft. Bragg, one of the nation’s largest U.S. military bases. A separate Gallup question confirms that many of these states with high government employment, including Alaska, Hawaii, Virginia, Oklahoma, and New Mexico, have above-average percentages of active duty military.

Other federal government jobs likely to be geographically dispersed include work in the U.S. justice system, agriculture, homeland security, transportation, and the administration of health services, such as Medicare and Medicaid.

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Steve McGough

Steve's a part-time conservative blogger. Steve grew up in Connecticut and has lived in Washington, D.C. and the Bahamas. He resides in Connecticut, where he’s comfortable six months of the year.

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