Chart: Rhode Island’s government work force keeps shrinkingSeptember 4th, 2013 at 12:46 pm by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site
Red Jahncke, a Connecticut management consultant, took to the Projo op-ed page on Wednesday to highlight the anemic pace of private-sector job creation in both his home state and Rhode Island.
“Private-sector jobs are the ones that matter, because they generate real economic activity,” Jahncke argues. “More private jobs are always a good thing. More government jobs constitute excess beyond a certain point. We can debate where that point is, but not that the point exists.”
The commentary might lead Jahncke’s readers to think public-sector payrolls in Rhode Island are on a permanent upward trend. But the numbers tell a different story.
Government employment in Rhode Island – the total number of people employed locally by federal, state and local government entities – has fallen to near its lowest level over a quarter-century of record-keeping:
The picture looks even more dramatic when you take account of the state’s larger population today. This chart shows the number of government employees in Rhode Island per state resident since 1990:
It looks like Rhode Island’s small-government conservatives have won the policy battle in recent years.
• Related: Chart of the midday: RI personnel costs rise as numbers drop (Jan. 17, 2012)