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Kentucky’s Government Workforce is the Twenty-First “Least Productive” in 2013

Sep 23, 2015


There are two major elements to look at when examining a state’s government workforce—the number of employees and the level of their pay. Each element is measured relative to the national average and summed together to obtain an overall measure of workforce productivity. By this metric, Kentucky has the twenty-first most productive state and local government workforce in the country.


#Kentucky has the 21st least productive S&L #government workforce in the country. (click to tweet)


As shown in Chart 1, for state and local government employment, Kentucky has 18.3 employees for every 100 employees in the private sector—this is 12 percent above the national average of 16.4 and is the 18th highest ratio in the country.


Chart 1 Kentucky State and Local Government Employees per 100 Private Sector Employees Rank 2013.jpg


As shown in Chart 2, for state and local government compensation, Kentucky government employees earn 14 percent more than those in the private sector—this is 7 percent above the national average of 13 percent and is the 22nd highest compensation ratio in the country.


Chart 2 Kentucky State and Local Government Compensation as a Percent of the Private Sector Rank 2013.jpg


As shown in Chart 3, for state and local wages and salaries, Kentucky employees earn -7 percent less than those in the private sector—this is the 27th highest wages and salaries ratio in the country and above than the national average of -8 percent.




Chart 3 Kentucky State and Local Government Wages and Salaries as a Percent of the Private Sector Rank 2013.jpg


As shown in Chart 4, for state and local benefits (pensions, health insurance, etc.), Kentucky employees earn110 percent more than those in the private sector—this is -6 percent lower than the national average of 117 percent and is the 15th highest benefit ratio in the country.


Chart 4 Kentucky State and Local Government Benefits as a Percent of the Private Sector Rank 2013.jpg


Of course, efficiency for local government is more usefully measured on a more local scale. As such, we have also calculated the employment and compensations ratios of local government workers for every county in Kentucky.




The Kentucky counties with the highest local government employment ratios include: Owsley County (69.8), Elliott County (66.4), and Robertson County (59.8). The Kentucky counties with the lowest local government employment ratios include: Boone County (6.4), Jefferson County (6.4), and McCracken County (7).


The Kentucky counties with the highest local government compensation ratios include: Elliott County (58 percent), Taylor County (57 percent), and Larue County (53 percent). The Kentucky counties with the lowest local government compensation ratios include: Hancock County (-35 percent), Ballard County (-34 percent), and Webster County (-30 percent).


Overall, Kentucky’s state and local government workforce metrics are worse than average due to having the 15th highest benefits ratio in the country.


Click here to view our full government workforce data app with details by state, by county, level of government, and over time.



J. Scott Moody

Scott has nearly 20 years of experience as a public policy economist. He is the author, co-author and editor of over 180 studies and books. His professional experience also includes positions at the American Conservative Union Foundation, Granite Institute, Federalism In Action, Maine Heritage Policy Center, Tax Foundation, and Heritage Foundation.


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