Government payroll in RI keeps declining as share of residentsJune 18th, 2012 at 12:25 pm by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site
Justin Katz posted a chart on Friday making the case that Governor Chafee and lawmakers are starting to undo the reduction in the state’s authorized full-time employee count made during the later Carcieri years.
To offer a comparison, I fired up the St. Louis Fed’s FRED database to see how government employment has compared with the size of Rhode Island’s population since 1990. (This also includes federal employment, which has fallen slightly over that period.) Here’s what it shows:
It looks like government employment in Rhode Island as a share of population spiked in the go-go late ’90s, then began a bumpy decline that continued through 2011.
Fewer government employees doesn’t necessarily mean lower government employment costs, though – as Josh Barro noted on Bloomberg’s Ticker blog, unsustainable compensation structures can keep costs high for taxpayers even as the work force serving them shrinks.
• Related: RI state payroll down 23% since 1990; city, town jobs grow (July 1)