Some of my recent work for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy has been in regards to government employee compensation here in Michigan. As I delved into the topic, I’ve found that Wendell Cox’s assessment is correct; government employees truly are a protected class. Over the next few days I’ll be presenting my own case on this point, looking at both Michigan and National statistics. Some language will be pulled from a MCPP essay I helped write.
Today’s topic: Employment.
According to the BLS, Michigan’s private sector has shed 12.1 percent of its jobs since 2000. The number of jobs lost — 484,200 — is about the size of the total employment in Rhode Island. In fact there are nine states with whole private-sectors smaller than Michigan’s private-sector loss since the start of the decade.
Local government in Michigan on the other hand only shed 6.1 percent of its workforce, while the state government and state enterprises like universities actually expanded their payrolls.
Nationally, similar trends have come to the surface. The nation has grown its private ranks by 3.2 percent since 2000. Not to be outdone, the government expanded by 8.2 percent over the same period. This means that nationally, we have grown government employment over 2.5 times faster than the rest of the country’s workforce.
And these figures are just up to 2008. What will 2009 tell with the increases to AmeriCorps and Obama’s mission to add oversight and regulation left and right?
We cannot continue to add to government ranks that do little to produce wealth, and do much to move around and waste it. But not only are government employees wasting taxpayer money through bureaucracy, they are consuming more than their fair share of it in compensation. Stay tuned…
Adam Rule – MCPP Intern