The unemployment rate for government workers rose for the first time since January, standing at 3.8 percent in May, up from 3.3 percent in April. But at the same time, the total number of government workers in the United States increased by 92,000.
There were 20,361,000 total government workers in May, up from 20,269,000 in April.
The increase in government workers happened at the state and local level, not the federal level. Federal government payrolls actually declined by 14,000 in May.
“Over the past 3 months, federal government employment has decreased by 45,000,” BLS said.
In July 2012, the unemployment rate for government workers was as high as 5.7 percent, according to the BLS. The rate has generally declined since then.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics counts someone as a government worker if they are not in the military and they are currently employed by any level of government—local, state or federal—or they are unemployed, they are looking for work, and their last job was for any level of government.
The overall national unemployment rate increased 0.1 percent in May to 7.6 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The number of Americans “not in the labor force” declined for the second month in a row in May, however, the 89,705,000 who were not in the labor force in May was still enough to fill every Major League Baseball stadium simultaneously, 69 times.