Health Care, Social Services and Housing: 2012 Census of Governments Employment and Payroll

The health care, social services and housing functions will feature far more prominently in finance data from the 2012 Census of Governments, which will be released later this year, than in the employment phase, the subject of this series of posts. That is because although these functions, and health care and social assistance in particular, are substantially paid for by the federal, state and local governments, directly or (through tax breaks) indirectly, most of the actual work is not done by public employees. It is carried out by private, frequently non-profit, organizations and institutions. Moreover while local governments are often responsible for administering these programs, most of the money comes from, and most of the rules are set by, the federal and state governments.

That said, New York City’s local government public hospital, public welfare, and housing and community development employment is substantial enough to be a significant component of the city’s relatively high local government employment overall. And by including private sector employment data in related industries with substantial government funding and involvement, it is possible to get an impression of the full scope of public sector spending in these categories from employment data. A series of charts and commentary on that data may found on “Saying the Unsaid in New York.”