Counting Up Public Sector Workers by Sydney Beveridge
The controversy over union benefits in Wisconsin has brought great attention to the public service sector there and across the nation. Social Explorer can help you learn about the different sectors of the workforce and how they have changed over time.
The Census tracks data on employment, including sector (such as private, public, self-employed, nonprofit and unpaid home workers). Using Social Explorer we can track public sector workers in Wisconsin and nationwide.
A 2005-09 American Community Survey map shows details of where public service reside.
The following tables based on Social Explorer reports provide the number of people in the public service sector across the decades.
For instance, the US has added over 8 million public service employees to the workforce since 1970. But, overall, the public service sector shrank 1.5% over the past forty years and now represents 14.6% of the labor force according to the 2005-09 American Community Survey.
In Wisconsin, public service workers make up 12.2% of the state’s labor force, a decline of 1.9% during the same time period. You can explore this data and more with Social Explorer’s maps and reports.