Montana’s Government Workforce is the Sixteenth “Least Productive” in 2012

Jun 22, 2014

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, Montana has the sixteenth least productive state and local government workforce in the country.

On state and local government employment, Montana has 20.52 employees for every 100 employees in the private sector which is 22.4 percent above the national average of 16.77 and is the 9th highest ratio in the country.

Montana State and Local Employment Rank 2012.jpg

However, on state and local government compensation, Montana ranks poorly with government employees earning 14.2 percent more than those in the private sector which is 21.9 percent higher than the national average of 11.7 percent and is the 18th highest compensation ratio in the country.

Montana State and Local Compensation Rank 2012.jpg

On state and local wages and salaries, Montana’s employees earn -1 percent less than those in the private sector—the 11th highest wages and salaries ratio in the country and higher than the national average of -8.8 percent.

Montana State and Local Wages and Salaries Rank 2012.jpg

On state and local benefits (pensions, health insurance, etc.), Montana’s employees earn 81.1 percent more than those in the private sector which is -29.5 percent lower than the national average of 115 percent and is the 33rd highest benefit ratio in the country.

Montana State and Local Benefits Rank 2012.jpg

Overall, it is Montana’s high government employment ratio and wages and salaries ratio which 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.

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

Click here to view the methodology behind this important government workforce data.

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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