Private sector grows, government jobs decline

By Aaron Rice
July 23, 2019

Mississippi has seen a drop in government jobs over the past two months and the government workforce in the state is now smaller than it was one year ago.

In June 2018, Mississippi had 241,200 government employees according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and that number had increased to 242,100 this past April. But after declines the past two months, preliminary numbers show Mississippi has 240,400 government employees as of June 2019. This includes federal, state, and local government employees. 

Government jobs in Mississippi, June 2018 through June 2019

At the same time of the loss in government jobs, the private sector has grown. Employment rolls grew by 2,500 in May and another 2,000 in June. Mississippi employers have added 14,000 jobs over the past year. Payrolls in Mississippi now sit at 1,168,100. 

When looking just at the state workforce, this continues a trend over the past 15 years even though numbers may fluctuate month-over-month.

According to a 2018 report from the Office of the State Auditor, the number of state government employees has decreased by more than 5,200 dating back to 2004, largely through attrition and voluntary separations. The bulk of the reduction, about 4,500 employees, occurred in the past seven years.

Even with the declines, approximately 56 percent of Mississippi’s economy is controlled by the public sector, putting its reliance on government fourth worse in the nation. To continue to generate sustainable, long-term growth, we need to continue to grow the private sector through lower taxes and a lighter regulatory burden.  


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