The 10 States With the Highest Number of Federal Government Workers

Credits: Tax Foundation

The specter of a government shutdown has become familiar in Washington, causing concern among federal workers responsible for crucial tasks such as ensuring air travel safety, overseeing food safety, maintaining the integrity of financial markets, and safeguarding the homeland.

The possibility of delayed paychecks adds to the anxieties of these workers, who play a vital role in various aspects of public service. The U.S. government employs over 2 million civilians.

While a government shutdown particularly impacts federal workers in the District of Columbia and its surroundings, these employees are spread across every state.

Surprisingly, some states outside the immediate vicinity of the nation’s capital have a higher concentration of federal civilian workers. For instance, a prominent West Coast state has more federal civilian employees than the two states neighboring Washington, D.C., which houses around 160,700 civilian government employees.

US Map Showing The 10 States (Credits: Wikipedia)

Additionally, certain Southern states serve as major hubs for federal employees. The following are the top 10 states with the highest numbers of federal civilian workers, based on data from a Congressional Research Service report as of March 2023. The figures exclude uniformed military personnel and federal contractors:

  • California
  • Virginia
  • Maryland
  • Texas
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Pennsylvania
  • Washington
  • Ohio
  • New York

It’s worth noting that government shutdowns can have cascading effects on local businesses, including retail stores and restaurants that rely on federal employees’ spending. Industries such as tourism can also suffer, with the closure of museums and other attractions affecting the local economy.

The impact of government shutdowns extends beyond federal workers, affecting communities and businesses that depend on the uninterrupted operation of government services.