We’ve known for some years in Kansas that the number of state government employees has been increasing rapidly, outpacing the growth of the private sector.
Now the Topeka Capital-Journal reports that these government employees are doing very well, in terms of salary and benefits.
That newspaper’s recent editorial Earnings gap widens between private, govt. employees reports this:
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, public employees across the country earned benefits worth $13.38 an hour in December 2008, compared with benefits worth $7.98 an hour earned by private-sector employees. The overall compensation — wages and benefits — for state and local workers was $39.25 an hour in 2008. That was $11.90 an hour more than wages and benefits earned in the private sector. In 2007, that gap was $11.31 an hour.
These high and rapidly growing employment costs are a problem for taxpayers, especially in tough budget times. Says the editorial: “We can fault elected officials for continually increasing the load on taxpayers who don’t work for a government entity in favor of those who do … it might be a good time to slow the growth in public sector wages and benefits.”
The problem with wages and benefits, however, is just a part of the overall problem in Kansas. Capital-Journal news reporting (KPERS problems compound) has reported on the problems with underfunding of the Kansas state employee retirement system. This remains a looming problem.