This chart by Mercatus Center Senior Research Fellow Veronique de Rugy illustrates the trends in public and private employment since the start of the recession. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Current Employment Survey, since January 2008, government employment has increased by 590,000 while the private sector has lost nearly 8 million jobs since the start of the Great Recession. Since the passage of the Recovery Act, these trends have continued: the private sector has lost an additional 2.7 million jobs, or 2.5% of total private employment, while state and federal governments have continued to grow, adding an additional 400,000 jobs.
Note: These statistics were calculated using the most recent monthly data available (from May 2010).
Veronique examines the public employment edge.