(NPN) -- Despite state cuts to education in 2011 and cries from the governor and legislature for austerity during difficult economic times, South Dakota’s state and local government employment grew by over 4 percent.

That’s according to a recent study by the U.S. Census Bureau examining federal, state and local government employment trends in 2012.

In fact, five of the seven Northern Plains states saw similar or smaller increases in state and local government employees — S. D., Nebraska and Wyoming with increases of 4 percent or more, followed by Iowa with a 2-4 percent increase and Wyoming with a less than 2 percent increase. Only North Dakota and Minnesota showed a decrease of 2-4 percent during the same time period.

But contrary to what some taxpayers may think, according to the report, state and local government employees make up a small percent of overall employment. In the Dakotas, only state and local government employees only make 0.3 percent of the workforce for either state. Wyoming also follows suit at 0.3 percent.

The percentage of state and local government workers for the other Northern Plains states: Montana, 0.4 percent; Nebraska, 0.8 percent, Iowa, 1.3 percent and Minnesota at 1.8 percent.

South Dakota’s of state and local employees, they split at 31.2 percent working for the state and 68.8 percent working for local governments. In North Dakota, the ratio was closer to even, with 41.9 percent working for state government and 55.1 percent for local government.

For additional information, go to http://www.census.gov/govs/apes/.