WASHINGTON - State and local governments have continued to add workers to municipal payrolls over the last two years despite tough economic times, according to recent figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Municipalities over all have remained secure places of employment while many firms in the private sector are shedding jobs, the bureau's statistics show. The rise in municipal jobs runs counter to widespread press reports and statements by state and local officials that layoffs in the government sector have added to the economic slowdown.

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