Job Growth: Government Employment Increased in D.C. in July, Says Labor Dept.

By Terence P. Jeffrey | August 19, 2011 | 3:53 PM EDT

The U.S. Capitol. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

( - The number of people employed by government in Washington, D.C., increased in the month of July even as the overall unemployment rate rose in the District of Columbia itself as well as in 28 of the 50 states, according to a report released today by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In June, 245,700 people were employed by government in Washington, D.C. In July, that rose to 247,000, an increase of 1,300.

This included both those employed by the federal government and those employed by the government of the District of Columbia.

Overall, the number of Americans employed by governments nationwide declined by 37,000 during July, according to another BLS report published earlier this month. But, at the same time, according to that report, the number of people employed by the federal government (not counting the Postal Service) increased by 2,000. The total decline in government workers nationwide was the result of a decline of state and local government workers in some states, plus a decline of 400 employees at the Postal Service.

Nationwide, more than 22 million people continue to work for government at one level or another.

Ironically, even while the number of people employed by federal and local government agencies situated within the District of Columbia increased during July, the overall unemployment rate among people who actually reside in the district also went up.

This is due in part, according to the BLS, because some of the people employed by government in D.C., commute from Maryland and Virginia—and their jobs are used in BLS calculations to determine the unemployment rates in the states in which they reside not where they work.

Meanwhile, the overall number of D.C. residents who are employed has declined every month since February, while the number of D.C. residents who are unemployed has increased, according to data published by BLS. In February, the total number of D.C. residents employed was 302,678. That dropped to 295,377 in July. In February, the total number of unemployed D.C. residents was 31,611. That rose to 35,861 in July.

The unemployment rate among D.C. residents rose from 9.5 percent in February to 10.4 percent in June and then to 10.8 percent in July.

A majority of the 50 states—28 of them--joined D.C. in seeing their unemployment rates go up in July. (See list below.)

At the same time, even while overall employment by government declined nationwide during July, 16 states did join D.C. in bucking the trend and increasing the number of people employed by government within their borders during the month. (See list below.)

16 States and D.C. With Increased Gov’t Employees in July:

State People Employed by Government

June July

Delaware 62,600 63,100

District of Columbia 245,700 247,000

Hawaii 123,600 125,500

Idaho 117,700 118,600

Iowa 246,100 251,200

Kansas 254,000 258,300

Massachusetts 431,100 432,200

Michigan 620,400 632,400

Mississippi 243,200 244,700

Nebraska 165,400 167,100

New York 1,472,000 1,487,300

Oklahoma 338,100 339,400

Rhode Island 60,100 60,400

Tennessee 410,800 418,000

Utah 215,100 215,200

Washington 534,700 540,000

Wisconsin 416,700 421,000

28 States and D.C. With Increased Unemployment in July:

State Unemployment Rate

June July

Alabama 9.9 10.0

Alaska 7.5 7.7

Arizona 9.3 9.4

Arkansas 8.1 8.2

California 11.8 12.0

Delaware 8.0 8.1

District of Columbia 10.4 10.8

Georgia 9.9 10.1

Hawaii 6.0 6.1

Illinois 9.1 9.5

Indiana 8.3 8.5

Maryland 7.0 7.2

Michigan 10.5 10.9

Minnesota 6.8 6.2

Montana 7.5 7.7

Nevada 12.4 12.9

New Hampshire 4.9 5.2

North Carolina 9.9 10.1

North Dakota 3.2 3.3

Ohio 8.8 9.0

Oklahoma 5.4 5.5

Oregon 9.4 9.5

Pennsylvania 7.6 7.8

South Carolina 10.5 10.9

Texas 8.2 8.4

Utah 7.4 7.5

Vermont 5.5 5.7

Virginia 6.0 6.1

Wisconsin 7.6 7.8