WYOMING – One in every four workers in Wyoming is employed by government. If that sounds high, it is. The national average is 3 out of every 20.
Wyoming has the highest percentage of government workers of any state. According to a report issued earlier this week by 24/7 Wall St., 25.4 percent of all employees in the Equality State worked for the federal, state, or local government in 2016. That ranked Wyoming No. 1 ahead of Alaska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Mississippi.
24/7 Wall St used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which showed, nationally, 15.4% of the workforce is employed by the government. Wyoming had 71,000 people working for government last year, a 9.2% increase since 2006.
“While federal workers tend to gain the most national attention, they are a minority among government employees. The vast majority of government employees—64.5%—actually work at the local level,” wrote Charles Stockdale for 24/7 Wall St. By comparison, only 12.6% of government jobs are at the federal level.
States with low levels of population density are particularly likely to have high percentages of government employees needed to provide many basic societal services across a sparsely populated state.