Government Hiring Boom

The private sector might be shedding jobs but government is hiring at all levels.

Governments added 76,800 jobs in the first three months of 2008, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.

That’s the biggest jump in first-quarter hiring since a boom in 2002 that followed the 9/11 terrorist attacks. By contrast, private companies collectively shed 286,000 workers in the first three months of 2008. That job loss has led many economists to declare the country is in a recession.


The USA has nearly 88,000 units of government, mostly local, that employ 22 million. Hiring has been strong at every level, from new CIA spies to preschool teachers. Some of what’s happening: The federal government increased its workforce by 13,800 in the first three months of 2008. Local governments added 47,000 and states 16,000.

More proof, as if we needed it, that the Era of Big Government is decidedly not over.

FILED UNDER: Bureaucracy, Economics and Business, , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. DC Loser says:

    James, that story doesn’t say whether the new hires are for completely new positions or were replacing positions that were vacant from retirement or other attrition. The federal government is starting to experience a wave or retirements from its workforce. it’s projected 50% of its workforce can retire in 5 years.

  2. Republicans and Democrats. One is the party of big government and the other is the party of bigger government, though I lose track of which is which any more.

  3. James Joyner says:

    that story doesn’t say whether the new hires are for completely new positions or were replacing positions that were vacant from retirement or other attrition

    A fair point. I’m not seeing the data in their latest releases, even though there are two dated today.

  4. superdestroyer says:

    Another part of the sad legacy of the incompetent Bush Administration. For seven years the Republicans never got a budget in on time, never even tried to balance the budget, never tried to cut the budget, and never tried to limit pork spending.

    The end result is a huge blow to anyone who claims to be a conservative, the collapse of the Republicans Party, and massive growth of the government in the future without any restraint.

    Maybe Republicans will learn that voting for the lesser of two evils is just a dumb idea and that nominating competent people is more important than voting for establishment candidates.

  5. Bob says:

    There is a effort by the Army to grow by 50,000 in next four years. And to grow the VA, expand DHS, and put more cops on the street. The question is are we hiring “doers” or are we hiring more administrators. Sadly I beive its the later.