In Michigan
6:02 am
Mon August 17, 2009

Study shows state workers get short end of the stick

LANSING, MI – Michigan's state workforce has been cut by more than 11 thousand people since 2001. The economist who came up with the numbers for a new study comparing public and private sector jobs says that number is alarming.

Charles Ballard says the perception that Michigan has a bloated state workforce is wrong. He says it is a myth that state workers receive better wages and benefits than their private sector counterparts.
The study Ballard conducted shows state employees are receiving less in their paycheck than they were a year ago, but paying twice as much for family health insurance coverage.

And, he says, those numbers are going to make it increasingly difficult to attract people and businesses to Michigan.

"I think the incentive to work for the state has been diminished a lot and it will be increasingly difficult to hire the kind of people we need to do to provide the critical public services," Ballard says.

Ballard is an economist with Michigan State University. The study was requested by state employee labor unions.