State Employee Pay Grows 25 Percent Above Inflation Since 1999

Total Payroll Up $1.5 Billion Despite Fewer Workers

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The average state employee compensation package costs approximately $93,039. Inflation-adjusted wages and benefits have increased 25 percent since fiscal 1999. The figures include the value of all benefits from state-paid retirement contributions to dry cleaning allowances.

The largest cost increases came from retirement benefits (which increased from $309 million in fiscal 1999 to $772 million in fiscal 2008) and health insurance (which increased from $273 million in fiscal 1999 to $554 million in fiscal 2008).

The wages and benefits of Michigan's over 50,000 state employees cost taxpayers $4.7 billion in fiscal 2008. This is up from $3.2 billion in fiscal 1999, despite the state now employing 15 percent fewer workers.

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Jim Riley got his own fiscal house in order so he could retire. Now he wonders why his city government can’t do the same for their employees, and taxpayers who could end with huge bills from the unfunded retirement liabilities.

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