Part of the growth in US employment during the 1970s was an increase in state and local government jobs, according to the Census Bureau. Nationwide in 1980, there were 488 government workers for every 10,000 persons, compared with a figure of 419 in 1970 - an increase of 16 percent. Largest sectors of growth on this basis were the South, with a 22 percent increase; the North-Central states with 16 percent; the Northeast with 14 percent; and the West with 7 percent. Alaska had the highest ratio of government workers to residents, with a figure of 803. Wyoming was next with 512.
The Census Bureau's employment division pointed out that larger states (from a population standpoint) are lower on the statistical list, because it takes fewer government workers to serve areas when populations are concentrated.