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Minnesota’s State and Local Government Workforce is the Fifth “Most Productive” in 2016

Jan 16, 2018

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There are two major elements to look at when examining a state’s state and local government workforce—the number of employees and the level of their pay. In this analysis, each element is measured relative to the national average and summed together to obtain an overall measure of workforce productivity. Based on this state and local government workforce productivity index, Minnesota has the fifth most productive state and local government workforce in the country.

 

Click here to view our full government workforce data app with details by state, by county, level of government, and over time.

 

 

In 2016, #Minnesota had the 5th most productive state and local #government workforce in the country http://bit.ly/2BDEhpN @keypolicydata #MNpol #MNleg #MNsen #MNgov (click to tweet)

 

As shown in Chart 1, for state and local government employment in 2016, Minnesota employed 14.8 employees for every 100 employees in the private sector (employment ratio) which is -5 percent below the national average of 15.7 and is the 12th lowest ratio in the country.

 

 Chart 1 Minnesota State and Local Government Employees per 100 Private Sector Employees Rank 2016.jpg

 

In 2016, #Minnesota state & local #government employed 14.8 for every 100 employed in private sector—the 12th lowest ratio in the country and -5% below US average of 15.7 http://bit.ly/2BDEhpN @keypolicydata #MNpol #MNleg #MNsen #MNgov  (click to tweet)

 

Additionally, Minnesota’s employment ratio has been decreasing. As shown in Chart 2, between 1969 and 2016, the employment ratio decreased by -13 percent to 14.8 in 2016 from 17.1 in 1969. This is in contrast to the national average which increased by 2 percent to 15.7 in 2016 from 15.4 in 1969.

 

 Chart 2 Minnesota State and Local Employment Ratio vs. U.S. Average 1969 to 2016.JPG

 

As shown in Chart 3, for state and local government compensation in 2016, government employees earn the same (0 percent) as those in the private sector (compensation ratio) which is significantly lower than the national average of 14 percent and is the 6th lowest compensation ratio in the country.

 

 Chart 3 Minnesota State and Local Government Compensation as a Percent of the Private Sector Rank 2016.jpg

 

In 2016, #Minnesota state & local #government compensation was the same as in the private sector—the 6th lowest ratio in the country and well below US average of 14% http://bit.ly/2BDEhpN @keypolicydata #MNpol #MNleg #MNsen #MNgov  (click to tweet)

 

Additionally, Minnesota’s compensation ratio has been increasing. As shown in Chart 4, between 1969 and 2016, the compensation ratio increased by 5 percentage points to 0 percent in 2016 from -5 percent in 1969. This is a slower increase relative to the national average which increased by 15 percentage points to 14 percent in 2016 from -1 percent in 1969.

 

 Chart 4 Minnesota State and Local Compensation Ratio vs. U.S. Average 1969 to 2016.JPG 

 

As shown in Chart 5, both wages and salaries and benefits contribute to Minnesota’s low government compensation ratio. For state and local wages and salaries in 2016, Minnesota employees earn -11 percent less than those in the private sector which is the 18th lowest wages and salaries ratio in the country and lower than the national average of -8 percent.

 

 Chart 5 Minnesota Components of State and Local Compensation Ratio 1969 to 2016.JPG

 

For state and local benefits in 2016, Minnesota employees earn 56 percent more than those in the private sector which is -56 percent lower than the national average of 127 percent and is the 5th lowest benefit ratio in the country.

 

 

Click here to view our full government workforce data app with details by state, by county, level of government, and over time.

 

Of course, efficiency for local government helps to be measured on a more local scale. As such, we have also calculated the employment and compensations ratios of local government workers for every county in Minnesota.

 

The Minnesota counties with the highest local government employment ratios include (state average is 11.0):

  • Mahnomen County, MN (194.1)
  • Traverse County, MN (52.4)
  • Pine County, MN (51.4)
  • Mille Lacs County, MN (51.3)
  • Yellow Medicine County, MN (51.0)
  • Big Stone County, MN (50.2)
  • Cass County, MN (49.5)
  • Norman County, MN (46.9)
  • Carlton County, MN (44.1)
  • Kanabec County, MN (43.0)

The Minnesota counties with the lowest local government employment ratios include (state average is 11.0):

  • Nicollet County, MN (10.0)
  • Steele County, MN (9.9)
  • McLeod County, MN (9.7)
  • Ramsey County, MN (9.4)
  • Dakota County, MN (9.2)
  • Stearns County, MN (8.3)
  • Winona County, MN (8.3)
  • Blue Earth County, MN (7.8)
  • Olmsted County, MN (7.2)
  • Hennepin County, MN (6.6)

The Minnesota counties with the highest local government compensation ratios include (state average is -3.2 percent):

  • Cass County, MN (39 percent)
  • Cook County, MN (35 percent)
  • Kanabec County, MN (35 percent)
  • Murray County, MN (34 percent)
  • Clay County, MN (32 percent)
  • Crow Wing County, MN (30 percent)
  • Lyon County, MN (29 percent)
  • Morrison County, MN (27 percent)
  • Kandiyohi County, MN (27 percent)
  • Aitkin County, MN (25 percent)

The Minnesota counties with the lowest local government compensation ratios include (state average is -3.2 percent):

  • Clearwater County, MN (-3 percent)
  • Mower County, MN (-4 percent)
  • Carlton County, MN (-5 percent)
  • Mahnomen County, MN (-8 percent)
  • Hennepin County, MN (-8 percent)
  • Le Sueur County, MN (-9 percent)
  • Stevens County, MN (-12 percent)
  • Red Lake County, MN (-17 percent)
  • Pennington County, MN (-19 percent)
  • Norman County, MN (-41 percent)


Overall, it is Minnesota’s low employment and compensation ratio, driven by both low wages and salaries and benefits, that is responsible for Minnesota having the 5th best state and local government workforce productivity index.

 

Read more about the "government workforce productivity Index" methodology here.

 

Click here to view our full government workforce data app with details by state, by county, level of government, and over time.

 

 

Finally, don’t forget to watch our exclusive time-lapse video of our state and local government workforce productivity index over the last 47 years! See if your state has been above or below the national average?

 

 



J. Scott Moody

Scott has nearly 20 years of experience as a public policy economist. He is the author, co-author and editor of over 180 studies and books. His professional experience also includes positions at the American Conservative Union Foundation, Granite Institute, Federalism In Action, Maine Heritage Policy Center, Tax Foundation, and Heritage Foundation.


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