Thursday, 18 June 2009

State Worker Pay

A story in today’s Sacramento Bee mentions how state lawyer salaries are below the private sector. I think lower government pay is normal and probably desirable, but the amount of the gap could be a problem. It would be interesting to know how the salary gap by occupation compares to other states.

As mentioned in this previous post, state and local government average salaries in California are high compared to other states, even after taking into account differences in income levels between states.

However, that doesn’t say anything about fields of work. I suspect (and would appreciate it if someone could point me to the information) that some areas of state work are paid much higher than is typical or necessary, whereas other lines of state work are pretty stingy with their salaries. In general, I hate these across the board salary cuts and furloughs, but I haven’t seen any other serious proposals to cut payroll costs.

I do think that the average cost of salary and benefits per government employee must come down in this state. Thus, if it is devastating to cut state lawyer salaries (as one example) as this article suggests, they should recommend other areas for disproportionate cuts and provide the evidence to back it up.

About the Author

Ethan Jacob

Author & Editor

I am Ethan Jacob Executive Director of the Center for Business and Policy Research at the University of the Pacific, where I have a joint faculty appointment in the Eberhardt School of Business and the Public Policy Program in the McGeorge School of Law..


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