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Massachusetts’s State and Local Government Workforce is the Nineteenth “Most Productive” in 2016

Feb 19, 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, Massachusetts has the nineteenth most 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, #Massachusetts had the 19th most productive state and local #government workforce in the country http://bit.ly/2BDEhpN @keypolicydata #MApoli #MAleg #MAsen #MAgov (click to tweet)

 

As shown in Chart 1, for state and local government employment in 2016, Massachusetts employed 12.4 employees for every 100 employees in the private sector (employment ratio) which is -21 percent below the national average of 15.7 and is the 3rd lowest ratio in the country.

 

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

 

In 2016, #Massachusetts state & local #government employed 12.4 for every 100 employed in private sector—the 3rd lowest ratio in the country and -21% below US average of 15.7 http://bit.ly/2BDEhpN @keypolicydata #MApoli #MAleg #MAsen #MAgov  (click to tweet)

 

Additionally, Massachusetts’s employment ratio has been increasing. As shown in Chart 2, between 1969 and 2016, the employment ratio increased by 4 percent to 12.4 in 2016 from 11.9 in 1969. This is a faster growth rate than the national average which increased by 2 percent to 15.7 in 2016 from 15.4 in 1969.

 

 Chart 2 Massachusetts 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, government employees earned 13 percent more than those in the private sector (compensation ratio) which is -5 percent lower than the national average of 14 percent and is the 23rd highest compensation ratio in the country.

 

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

 

In 2016, #Massachusetts state & local #government compensation was 13% higher than in the private sector—the 23rd highest ratio in the country and -5% below US average of 14% http://bit.ly/2BDEhpN @keypolicydata #MApoli #MAleg #MAsen #MAgov  (click to tweet)

 

Additionally, Massachusetts’s compensation ratio has been increasing. As shown in Chart 4, between 1969 and 2016, the compensation ratio increased by 1 percentage points to 13 percent in 2016 from 12 percent in 1969. This is significantly slower than the national average which increased by 15 percentage points to 14 percent in 2016 from -1 percent in 1969.

 

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

 

As shown in Chart 5, it is wages and salaries that contribute to Massachusetts’s lower than average government compensation ratio. For state and local wages and salaries in 2016, Massachusetts employees earn -11 percent less than those in the private sector which is the 17th lowest wages and salaries ratio in the country and significantly lower than the national average of -8 percent.

 

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

 

For state and local benefits in 2016, Massachusetts employees earn 147 percent more than those in the private sector which is 15 percent higher than the national average of 127 percent and is the 6th lowest 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 Massachusetts.

 

The Massachusetts local government employment ratios are (from highest to lowest, state average is 8.5):

  • Dukes County, MA (21.8)
  • Franklin County, MA (18.1)
  • Hampshire County, MA (12.5)
  • Nantucket County, MA (12.5)
  • Barnstable County, MA (12.4)
  • Plymouth County, MA (12.3)
  • Hampden County, MA (11.4)
  • Worcester County, MA (10.4)
  • Bristol County, MA (10.1)
  • Essex County, MA (10.0)
  • Berkshire County, MA (10.0)
  • Norfolk County, MA (8.6)
  • Middlesex County, MA (7.3)
  • Suffolk County, MA (4.4)

 

The Massachusetts local government compensation ratios are (from highest to lowest, state average is 10 percent):

  • Barnstable County, MA (57 percent)
  • Bristol County, MA (47 percent)
  • Plymouth County, MA (47 percent)
  • Hampshire County, MA (43 percent)
  • Nantucket County, MA (34 percent)
  • Hampden County, MA (34 percent)
  • Worcester County, MA (29 percent)
  • Essex County, MA (27 percent)
  • Berkshire County, MA (26 percent)
  • Franklin County, MA (19 percent)
  • Norfolk County, MA (18 percent)
  • Dukes County, MA (9 percent)
  • Suffolk County, MA (8 percent)
  • Middlesex County, MA (-4 percent)

 

Overall, it is Massachusetts’s lower than average employment ratio and compensation ratio, driven by low wages and salaries, that is responsible for Massachusetts having the 19th best 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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