Calculated Risk gives us our charts today. In response to some questions raised on a post by Menzie Chinn, these charts provide some clarification. In the original post, it was noted that the number of government employees has not been growing very fast. It was updated to show that the number of federal employees has changed very little since about 1968.
So, let us look at the CR graphs. Note that they choose to look at government employees not in absolute numbers, but as a percentage of the civilian population. Click to enlarge.
We see that the number of federal employees is staying steady in the Chinn post. With this chart, we see that number dropping as a percentage of the U.S.population. We also see that most of that growth is at the local level. More precisely, most of that growth is in education. The next chart shows that if you exclude education, total government employment is dropping as a percentage of the population.
Why is this important? If you want to cut the amount of money being spent upon government, you need to know where it is going.