Amid expansion, government jobs still declining

The state gained 15,500 jobs in January, the Department of Employment and Economic Development announced this morning, evidence that the economy is growing.

It’s interesting to note that the growth is in the private sector and that, after all the budget squeezes on local and state government last year, the number of government jobs continued to decline. (See our Forced to Choose project and specifically reporter Curtis Gilbert’s piece on local governments deciding to cut jobs.

Here’s the state breakdown, with numbers seasonally adjusted. (Click on “Minnesota Seasonally Adjusted.”)

There were 274,400 local government jobs in January, down half a percent from the previous month. That total includes K-12 teachers. The number held more or less steady for a number of years recently but then dropped below 280,000 early last year.

It’s not just local government cutting jobs. Federal jobs in Minnesota have declined to 31,700, the lowest point in decades. State jobs were down slightly in January, although still near historic highs. (The downward spike on this chart reflects the state shutdown last summer.)

MINNESOTA GOVERNMENT JOBS 1990-2012

MN government jobs Jan 2012.JPG

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