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Oregon’s State and Local Government Workforce is the Twelfth “Least Productive” in 2016

Jan 16, 2018

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There are two major elements to look at when examining a state’s state and local government workforce—the number of employees and the level of their pay. In this analysis, each element is measured relative to the national average and summed together to obtain an overall measure of workforce productivity. Based on this state and local government workforce productivity index, Oregon has the twelfth least productive state and local government workforce 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.

 

 

In 2016, #Oregon had the 12th least productive state and local #government workforce in the country http://bit.ly/2BDEhpN @keypolicydata #ORpol #ORleg #ORgov (click to tweet)

 

As shown in Chart 1, for state and local government employment in 2016, Oregon employed 15.6 employees for every 100 employees in the private sector (employment ratio) which is just below the national average of 15.7 and is the 30th highest ratio in the country.

 

 Chart 1 Oregon State and Local Government Employees per 100 Private Sector Employees Rank 2016.jpg

 

In 2016, #Oregon state & local #government employed 15.6 for every 100 employed in private sector—the 30th highest ratio in the country and just below the US average of 15.7 http://bit.ly/2BDEhpN @keypolicydata #ORpol #ORleg #ORgov (click to tweet)

 

Additionally, Oregon’s employment ratio has been decreasing. As shown in Chart 2, between 1969 and 2016, the employment ratio decreased by -17 percent to 15.6 in 2016 from 18.8 in 1969. In contrast, the national average increased by 2 percent to 15.7 in 2016 from 15.4 in 1969.

 

 Chart 2 Oregon State and Local Employment Ratio vs. U.S. Average 1969 to 2016.JPG

 

As shown in Chart 3, for state and local government compensation in 2016, Oregon government employees earn 21 percent more than those in the private sector (compensation ratio) which is 57 percent higher than the national average of 14 percent and is the 10th highest compensation ratio in the country.

 

 Chart 3 Oregon State and Local Government Compensation as a Percent of the Private Sector Rank 2016.jpg

 

In 2016, #Oregon state & local #government compensation was 21% higher than in the private sector—the 10th highest ratio in the country and 57% above US average of 14% http://bit.ly/2BDEhpN @keypolicydata #ORpol #ORleg #ORgov (click to tweet)

 

Additionally, Oregon’s compensation ratio has been increasing. As shown in Chart 4, between 1969 and 2016, the compensation ratio increased by 16 percentage points to 21 percent in 2016 from 5 percent in 1969. This growth rate is slightly faster than the national average which increased by 15 percentage points to 14 percent in 2016 from -1 percent in 1969.

 

 Chart 4 Oregon State and Local Compensation Ratio vs. U.S. Average 1969 to 2016.JPG

 

As shown in Chart 5, it is state and local wages and salaries that are responsible for Oregon’s high government compensation ratio. For state and local wages and salaries in 2016, Oregon employees earn 4 percent more than those in the private sector which is the 5th highest wages and salaries ratio in the country and significantly higher than the national average of -8 percent.

 

 Chart 5 Oregon Components of State and Local Compensation Ratio 1969 to 2016.JPG

 

For state and local benefits in 2016, Oregon employees earn 107 percent more than those in the private sector which is -16 percent lower than the national average of 127 percent and is the 21st highest benefit 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.

 

Of course, efficiency for local government helps to be 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 Oregon.

 

The Oregon counties with the highest local government employment ratios include (state average is 12.7):

  • Wheeler County, OR (116.0)
  • Lake County, OR (51.6)
  • Harney County, OR (48.8)
  • Jefferson County, OR (46.1)
  • Gilliam County, OR (44.0)
  • Grant County, OR (40.4)
  • Benton County, OR (31.3)
  • Polk County, OR (31.0)
  • Sherman County, OR (26.7)
  • Coos County, OR (25.3)

 

The Oregon counties with the lowest local government employment ratios include (state average is 12.7):

  • Clatsop County, OR (13.5)
  • Marion County, OR (12.8)
  • Multnomah County, OR (12.5)
  • Yamhill County, OR (12.2)
  • Josephine County, OR (10.5)
  • Jackson County, OR (10.4)
  • Deschutes County, OR (10.0)
  • Hood River County, OR (9.9)
  • Clackamas County, OR (9.2)
  • Washington County, OR (7.0)

 

The Oregon counties with the highest local government compensation ratios include (state average is 20 percent):

  • Harney County, OR (63 percent)
  • Curry County, OR (62 percent)
  • Wallowa County, OR (53 percent)
  • Lincoln County, OR (53 percent)
  • Coos County, OR (52 percent)
  • Grant County, OR (51 percent)
  • Lake County, OR (49 percent)
  • Polk County, OR (46 percent)
  • Columbia County, OR (43 percent)
  • Josephine County, OR (42 percent)

 

The Oregon counties with the lowest local government compensation ratios include (state average is 20 percent):

  • Union County, OR (18 percent)
  • Baker County, OR (17 percent)
  • Linn County, OR (14 percent)
  • Clackamas County, OR (13 percent)
  • Crook County, OR (13 percent)
  • Wheeler County, OR (8 percent)
  • Morrow County, OR (1 percent)
  • Gilliam County, OR (-3 percent)
  • Washington County, OR (-7 percent)
  • Sherman County, OR (-7 percent)

 

Overall, it is Oregon’s high compensation ratio, driven by wages and salaries, that is the primary reason for Oregon having the 12th worst state and local government workforce productivity index.

 

Read more about the "government workforce productivity Index" methodology here.

 

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

 

 

Finally, don’t forget to watch our exclusive time-lapse video of our state and local government workforce productivity index over the last 47 years! See if your state has been above or below the national average?

 

 



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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