Minnesota state workers rallied in July at the State Capitol in St. Paul amid talk of a state government shutdown. (Carlos Gonzalez/AP)

Nearly three in 10 workers in Hawaii, Alaska and the District work for local, state or federal governments, according to a new Gallup survey.

Maryland, Virginia, New Mexico and West Virginia are close behind, with 21 to 24 percent of state residents collecting government paychecks.

States with the lowest percentage of government employees included Pennsylvania (11 percent) and Michigan, Vermont, Indiana, Missouri, Minnesota and Maine, all with 12 percent.

The District, Virginia and Maryland had the highest percentage of federal employees, with 21 percent of D.C. workers earning federal salaries; 12 percent of Maryland and Virginia workers did as well.

The findings are from Gallup’s daily tracking interviews that quizzed more than 129,000 American workers during 2011.

And while Republicans and fiscal conservatives may complain about the growing size of government, just 16.3 percent of American workers said they worked for the government in 2011, down 1 percent since 2009. Gallup said their data is consistent with Bureau of Labor Statistics data that found a decline of 280,000 government jobs across the country last year.

At the federal level, just 4.4 percent of American workers reported working for the federal government, a drop of 0.3 percentage points from 2010.

States with higher percentages of government employment are located across the country, while states with lower percentages of government workers are mostly in the Northeast and Midwest, Gallup said.

Follow Ed O’Keefe on Twitter: @edatpost

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