The state gravy train rolls on

The state gravy train rolls on

June 27, 2007 Posted by Maine Heritage Policy Center - No Comments

In 2005, state government workers on average were compensated (wages plus benefits) 32 percent higher than private sector workers ($51,003 vs. $38,617).
The average wage for a state government worker was 13.2 percent higher than their private sector counterpart ($36,020 vs. $31,812).
The State of Maine recently revealed a new labor contract for 2008 and 2009 for employees who work in the executive branch bargaining unit. The contract provides a two percent raise in 2008 and a four percent raise in 2009. Additionally, in 2007, workers get a $700 lump sum bonus.
Inflation projections for 2008 and 2009 are approximately two percent. When adjusted for inflation, the wage increases are positive.
While a six percent wage increase over two years may seem modest to some, when compared to wage growth in the private sector it is quite significant. Real private sector per capita income has actually shrunk since 2001.

While the private sector pie is shrinking, the state government sector is increasing. How can policymakers justify such a scenario?