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Federal Jobs Picture Changes Little in June

Postal Service adds 1,800 jobs but rest of federal government stays flat.

The federal government didn’t lose any jobs in June, according to the latest numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But, except for the Postal Service, it didn’t gain any either.

The Postal Service, which just announced another round of buyouts and early retirement options for employees, added 1,800 jobs last month. The rest of the federal government didn’t shed or gain any jobs.

The federal government overall lost about 5,000 jobs in May, 3,000 in April and about 9,000 in March. Monthly fluctuations mean the jobs situation for the federal government has remained relatively unchanged for a while, but long-term data reveal a federal workforce that is slowly shrinking.

The civilian workforce, excluding the Postal Service, has hovered around 2.1 million for the past few years, with the most federal employees in California; Texas; Virginia; and Washington, D.C. Sequestration, an increasing number of federal retirements, more buyouts, and hiring freezes at many agencies have contributed to the reduction in federal jobs.

Government at all levels -- federal, state and local -- gained 26,000 jobs overall in June primarily because of increased employment in local government, which added 22,000 jobs last month. Most of those jobs – 18,000 – were in education positions at the local government level. State government jobs increased by 2,000 in June.

The U.S. economy overall (total nonfarm payroll employment) added 288,000 jobs in June, and unemployment was 6.1 percent, down from 6.3 percent in May and April. Employment increased in professional and business services, retail trade, food services and drinking places, and health care. 

(Image via Feng Yu/Shutterstock.com)