Government is one of the largest employers in Johnston County and helps drive the economy of the Smithfield-Selma area.
Smithfield is the county seat, so county government, the board of education, sheriff’s department, cooperative extension service, social services, visitors bureau and other county agencies are all located here. The town has a population of 12,420 citizens.
The Town of Smithfield, headquartered at 350 E. Market Street, operates its own emergency services, parks & recreation, planning, police, public utilities and public works departments.
Selma is Johnston County's third largest town, with a population of about 7,000 people. The town hall is located at 100 N. Raiford Street.
The Town of Selma operates its own cemetery, planning, fire, library, parks & recreation, police, public works and utilities departments.
Both Smithfield and Selma are members of North Carolina ElectriCities, operate their own electric systems and sell electricity to citizens within their city limits.
In addition to Smithfield and Selma, Johnston County has nine other municipalities: Archer Lodge, Benson, Clayton, Four Oaks, Kenly, Micro, Pine Level, Princeton, and Wilson's Mills. Approximately 28 percent of the county residents live in one of the towns.