Federal, state and local government employed 22,213,000 people in August, while the manufacturing sector employed 12,281,000.
The BLS has published seasonally-adjusted month-by-month employment data for both government and manufacturing going back to 1939. For half a century—from January 1939 through July 1989—manufacturing employment always exceeded government employment in the United States, according to these numbers.
Then, in August 1989, the seasonally-adjusted employment numbers for government exceeded the employment numbers for manufacturing for the first time. That month, manufacturing employed 17,964,000 and government employed 17,989,000.
Manufacturing employment in the United States had peaked a decade before that in June 1979 at 19,553,000
From August 2015 to August 2016 seasonally-adjusted manufacturing employment declined by 37,000--dropping from 12,318,000 last August to 12,281,000 this August.
The 22,213,000 government employees in August, according to the BLS, included 2,790,000 federal employees, 5,120,000 state government employees, and 14,303,000 local government employees.
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