Government Unemployment Rate Drops Again--to 3.3%

By Elizabeth Harrington | May 3, 2013 | 9:16am EDT

Job seekers at a job fair sponsored in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, file)

( – While overall unemployment remained largely unchanged in April at 7.5 percent, the rate for government workers continued to improve, dropping to 3.3 percent.

The unemployment rate for civilian government workers dropped to 3.3 percent in April from 3.6 percent in March, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The rate has dropped a half percentage point since February.

In March, there were 786,000 unemployed federal, state and local governments in the United States. In April, that declined by 71,000 to 715,000.

In July 2012, the unemployment rate for government workers was as high as 5.7 percent, according to the BLS, and the rate has been in a steady decline since.  The current unemployment for government workers at 3.3 percent is the lowest rate since April 2011.

In April there were 20,269,000 total government workers in the U.S.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics counts someone as a government worker if they are not in the military and they are currently employed by any level of government—local, state or federal—or they are unemployed, they are looking for work, and their last job was for any level of government.

Overall, unemployment dropped slightly to 7.5 percent, with payrolls adding 165,000 jobs.

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