Statement from the Volcker Alliance on November Jobs Report


New York, NY – The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today that total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 263,000 in November, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.7 percent. Government jobs increased by 42,000, with three-quarters of the modest gain coming from localities. Overall, federal, state, and local governments increased job rolls by an average of 25,000 per month in 2022, a slowdown from the average monthly rise of 38,000 in 2021. Government employment remains 461,000 positions under its level in February 2021, just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the US and partially shuttered the economy.

Amid state and local governments, many of which are preparing to unveil budgets for the coming fiscal year, small monthly increases were recorded in local education and non-education jobs, while state employment was little changed since October. “The figures reflected continued competition for jobs in a strong national labor market as well as caution by states grappling with recession fears following strong revenue gains of about 16 percent annually in fiscal 2021 and 2022,” said William Glasgall, senior director, public finance, at the Volcker Alliance.

State governments employed about 5.3 million workers in November, little changed from their February 2020 peak employment level. With 14.3 million workers, local governments remain short of their February 2020 total of 14.7 million. November continued the long-term trend of little growth in the state and local sector since the 2007-2009 recession.

State and local government resistance to ramping up employment can be seen in New York City, which has the nation’s largest municipal workforce. According to a recent New York State comptroller’s report, the city has over 21,000 job vacancies, reflecting attrition during and after the worst of the pandemic and planned savings to address looming budget gaps.
Labor trends will be in the spotlight on December 15, when the monthly Special Briefing webinar, produced by the Volcker Alliance and the University of Pennsylvania Institute for Urban Research, will examine the outlook for states and municipalities with Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego and a panel of experts. The webinar is also available as a podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and other platforms.
The Volcker Alliance is continuing to provide research into the long-term impacts of national economic trends on state and local finances, along with its longstanding work empowering and inspiring the next generation of public servants to fill these jobs.


Media Inquiries, please contact: Vig Tharmarajah | | 917-485-1410