Those employed by government in the United States in August of this year outnumbered those employed in the manufacturing sector by almost 1.8 to 1, according to data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
There were 21,995,000 employed by federal, state and local government in the United States in August, according to BLS. By contrast, there were only 12,329,000 employed in the manufacturing sector.
The BLS has published seasonally-adjusted month-by-month employment numbers for both government and manufacturing going back to 1939. In the first 50 years of the 76-year span since then, manufacturing out-employed government. But in August 1989, government overtook manufacturing as a U.S. employer.
That month, government employed 17,989,000 and manufacturing employed 17,964,000.