A news service for the people of Michigan from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy

The proportion of state and local government jobs hit a historic high in the recession and has been coming down slightly since.

In the late 90s, state and local government jobs in Michigan stayed a pretty constant 13.3 percent. It began growing in 2000 to 14.2 percent from 2002 to 2008. The 2008 recession spiked the figures to a series-high of 15.5 percent in July and August of 2009.

Since then, the number of government jobs have been decreasing slightly while private-sector jobs have increased, lowering the proportion to 14.4 percent.

But there are complicating factors when using this as a measure of the total government labor force. Privatization of substitute teaching, for example, shifted some of the government labor force from public-sector to private-sector. This was prevalent enough that government statisticians had to rework the seasonal adjustments for the “professional and business services” sector. These are still jobs at government facilities paid for through the tax system, but since a private-sector signs the paychecks, they are considered private-sector jobs.

It’s unknown whether the recent downward trend will continue. Even with the steady trend toward service privatization in Michigan’s state and local governments and the gradual recovery of the state’s private-sector, the percentage of the labor force remains at high-levels.

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See also:

Helpful Facts About Michigan's Public Sector

Analysis: The Obvious Need for Government Employment Benefit Reform

Bringing Local Government Benefits in Balance

Benefits in Balance: How to Save Michigan $5.7 Billion

Saving $5.7 in Public Employee Benefit Savings - Is it Real?

Michigan Public Employee Pay and Benefits Growing

Meet James Hohman, Assistant Director of Fiscal Policy at the Mackinac Center. James discusses his latest project, an analysis of Proposal 1, the proposal on personal property tax reform that will appear on the August 5th ballot. Read more about Proposal 1 here: http://www.mackinac.org/20246


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