Capitol Alert

California governments low on workers, high on payrolls

Teacher and inventor Jonathan Schwartz helps Renae D'Amour with her cutting board project in her computer integrated manufacturing class at Colfax High School on Sept. 29, 2014. The classroom boasts 18 computers with software to do computer-aided design and manufacturing, plus a 3-D printer.
Teacher and inventor Jonathan Schwartz helps Renae D'Amour with her cutting board project in her computer integrated manufacturing class at Colfax High School on Sept. 29, 2014. The classroom boasts 18 computers with software to do computer-aided design and manufacturing, plus a 3-D printer. rpench@sacbee.com

California has 12 percent of the nation’s population, but only 11.1 percent of its state and local government workers, a new Census Bureau report reveals.

However, those workers received 14.4 percent of the nation’s state and local payroll in March 2014, the month chosen by the bureau for its snapshot.

The latest result from the bureau’s annual survey of state and local government employees confirms a long-standing trend – that California has a below-average number of people on its public payrolls but above-average costs.

Nationally, state and local governments employed the full-time equivalent of 16.2 million workers in March, 2014, and paid them $73.2 billion, the Census Bureau calculated, with the corresponding numbers in California 1.8 million and $10.5 billion.

Nearly half of California’s state and local employees – 869,321 to be exact – were working in the state’s K-12 schools and public colleges, with another 112,911 in hospitals and just over 100,000 in police agencies.

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