Government Employees More Likely to Vote Than Private-Sector Workers

Americans out of the labor force more likely to vote than those who are employed

Wikimedia Commons
July 23, 2015

In the 2012 and 2014 elections, government employees were more likely to vote than workers in the private sector, according to census data.

A report released by the Census Bureau, "Who Votes? Congressional Elections and the American Electorate: 1978-2014," examined voting patterns in the in the 2014 congressional election. The Census found that 56.5 percent of government employees reported voting in the 2014 congressional election, while only 38.7 percent of workers in the private sector said they had cast a ballot.

While voting rates were higher overall in 2012 than in 2014, government employees were still more likely to vote than private-sector workers. In the 2012 election, during which votes were cast for the presidency as well as for congressional seats, the Census reported that 76.2 percent of government employees voted, compared with 61.7 percent of private-sector workers.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are nearly 22 million government employees in the United States and just under 120 hundred million private sector workers.

Census data also shows that Americans in the labor force were more likely to vote in 2012 than those who reported that they had dropped out of it, which means that they did not have a job and had not sought one in the past four weeks. But this changed in the 2014 congressional election, when 43.3 percent of Americans out of the labor force voted, compared with 41.2 percent of those in it.

As of June 2015, there were 157 million Americans aged 16 years and older in the labor force and more than 97 million Americans in the same age range out of it.