Federal Employment Is Starting to Increase Again under Trump

Jose Nino Comments

CNS News reports that the number of employees under the federal government’s payroll is starting to grow once again under President Donald Trump’s watch.

From April to May 2019, the total number of federal employees increased from 2,811,000 to 2,815,000. This increase of 4,000 adds up to the highest number of workers under the federal government’s payroll since President Barack Obama left office.

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that in Obama’s last month in office, December 2016, 2,817,000 workers were employed by Uncle Sam. Come January 2017, those numbers plummeted to 2,810,000. Thus far in the Trump presidency, federal employment bottomed out at 2,792,000 in February and March 2018. These figures have now jumped up by 23,000, to 2,815,000.

Looking at the bigger picture, these numbers are still far from the figures during George H.W. Bush’s administration — a time when the federal government could count on 3,435,000 people on its payroll. Even though federal employment increased by 4,000 in May, employment at all levels of government fell by 15,000. During the period of April to May 2019, these numbers went down from 22,529,000 to 22,514,000.

At the state level, 10,000 workers left the government workforce—dropping from 5,178,000 in April to 5,168,000 in May. Further, local government employment numbers saw a reduction by 9,000 workers—going from 14,540,000 in April to 14,531,000 in May. Employment at all levels of government reached a peak of 22,996,000 in May 2010 based on historical figures from the BLS. Since then, federal employment decreased by 482,000 down to a total of 22,514,000 government workers at the federal, state, and local levels. 

Indeed, the American government has morphed into a bureaucratic monstrosity.

The Progressive Era, which brought us income taxation and central banking, has fostered non-stop government growth. No matter which party is in power, it appears that government growth is practically automated into the American political system. 

American presidents, Trump included, will always have their hands full taming this unruly beast. Draining the Swamp will be no easy task. It may require a complete shift in political culture to get all branches of the U.S. government to actually make a concerted effort to reduce the size of government. That means liberty activists can no longer afford to sit on the sidelines. The time to change political culture is now. 

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