While the national recession killed private-sector jobs, the government jobs have been "relatively sheltered," says one researcher.

Veronique de Rugy, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, says the private sector has lost 6 percent of its January 2008 workforce, or 7.2 million jobs, as of November 2010.

Yet, federal jobs increased 3.5 percent by 98,000 jobs during that same time span. And de Rugy says those increases don’t include all the census workers that were hired temporarily. At its peak, the government had hired about 600,000 census workers.

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State government jobs nationwide have seen a 1 percent increase with 42,000 more jobs from January 2008 to November 2010.

The only government jobs loser was municipal government, which lost 1.7 percent of its jobs, or 258,000 jobs, from January 2008 to November 2010.

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See also:

Michigan Public Payrolls Protected in Recent Recession

Government Pay Outpaces Private Sector

Public Salary Database Puts Political Work of State Employee Under Scrutiny

Average Teacher Salaries Continue to Rise