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, South Carolina has the eighth least productive state and local government workforce in the country.
On state and local government employment, South Carolina has 19.92 employees for every 100 employees in the private sector which is 18.8 percent above the national average of 16.77 and is the 11th highest ratio in the country.
Additionally, on state and local government compensation, South Carolina ranks very poorly with government employees earning 19.7 percent more than those in the private sector which is 95 percent higher than the national average of 11.7 percent and is the 11th highest compensation ratio in the country.
On state and local wages and salaries, South Carolina’s employees earn 2.5 percent more than those in the private sector—the 6th highest wages and salaries ratio in the country and significantly higher than the national average of -8.8 percent.
However, on state and local benefits, South Carolina’s employees earn 100.2 percent more than those in the private sector which is-12.99 percent lower than the national average of 115 percent and is the 18th highest benefit ratio in the country.
Overall, it is South Carolina’s high employment ratio and high wages and salaries ratio that are the primary source of the poor government workforce metrics.
Note: Recent data updates include significant definitional changes, especially to benefits which are now based on an accrual basis as opposed to a cash-basis. The changes currently go back to 2000 so comparisons between pre- and post-2000 data must be used with caution.
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