A Cross-Sector Review of Public Service Employment

A new research brief provides a comprehensive overview of the U.S. public service workforce. The analysis includes state and local governments, K-12 schools, hospitals and health care, and social assistance organizations.

The research finds that there were 43 million workers in the public service sector in 2019, representing 26% of the total U.S. workforce. The largest components of this sector are in the education, general government, hospitals, and ambulatory health care fields. Looking ahead to projected employment through 2029, the research finds that the largest projected increase is for social assistance organizations, anticipated to grow from 4.1 million to 5.2 million jobs, or a 25% increase.

With many private and nonprofit organizations having a mission that overlaps the state and local government focus on serving the public, the Center is exploring this portion of the workforce as a source of potential partnerships on new methods of service delivery.

These findings are contained in A Cross-Sector Review of Public Service Employment.

Infographic: Career Stage Breakouts on COVID-19 Survey

SLGE has conducted surveys of state and local employees regarding the impact of COVID-19 on their job, finances, and morale. Click here to download the new infographic that breaks out the results for staff at different career stages. Click here to download.

Presentations at the ICMA Regional Conferences

SLGE staff organized presentations and roundtables at the ICMA Regional Conferences around Bargaining for Benefits: What’s in Demand, Safeguarding Services and Jobs Through Collaboration, and Workforce Recovery. Sessions run through April 16, with registrants able to participate in sessions or view sessions from any region on demand through June 30. Click here to register.

Recent Webinars

SLGE at ICMA-RC Managing Director Joshua Franzel, PhD, and Senior Research Manager Rivka Liss-Levinson, PhD, presented a webinar with NIRS on the State & Local Workforce: Employee Sentiment & Employment Outlook.

Senior Fellow Elizabeth Kellar presented as part of a panel with the Volcker Alliance on State and Local Leadership Challenges in the Age of COVID-19 (see minute 38).

SLGE in the News

The Center’s report on the impacts of COVID-19 on K-12 education employees received coverage from CNBCForbesGoverningK-12DiveInvestmentNewsMeriTalk State and LocalHighland County Press (Ohio), Tyler Morning Press (Texas), MenaFNOZY, and Georgia Public Broadcasting.

Data from the annual workforce survey – ranging from telework to workforce planning to the gig economy – was recently cited by Route Fifty, the ICMA blog, and Troy Media (Canada).

With the approach of Financial Literacy Month in April, the state and local governments that received grant support through the Center to start or expand financial wellness programs generated coverage in Wisconsin.

Red Lake Nation News (Minnesota) covered the issue brief on the public service workforce.