NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

HOW MANY OKLAHOMANS DOES IT TAKE TO FUND ONE GOVERNMENT JOB?

February 28, 2008

It takes 15 Oklahomans in the private sector to fund one Oklahoma state government job.  In total, for 2006, there were 83,769 state government workers in Oklahoma earning $3,519,178,000 - or an average of $42,011 on a per-job basis.  As a result, it would take a total of 1,281,682 private sector jobs to fund Oklahoma's state bureaucracy -- slightly more people than were employed in the private sector in 2006 (1,266,179), say J. Scott Moody and Wendy Warcholik, both Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA) research fellows.

Oklahomans are paying dearly for these 83,769 state government employees in the form of higher taxes: 

  • According to recent research by OCPA, Oklahoma state government has 28,748 too many jobs when compared to the national state employment average.
  • Eliminating these jobs would have saved Oklahoma's taxpayers up to $1,207,715,398 in 2006.

Moreover:

  • It takes 25 Oklahomans in the private sector to fund one Oklahoma local government job.
  • In total, for 2006, there were 187,887 local government workers in Oklahoma earning $7,672,488,000 -- or an average of $40,836 on a per-job basis.
  • As a result, it would take a total of 4,768,558 private sector jobs to fund Oklahoma's local bureaucracy -- or 3.8 times the people employed by Oklahoma's private sector in 2006.

As with the state government, Oklahomans are also paying dearly for the 187,887 local government workers.  Oklahoma's local governments have 37,912 too many jobs when compared to the national local employment average.  Eliminating these jobs would have saved Oklahoma's taxpayers up to $1,548,166,528 in 2006, say Moody and Warcholik.

Source: J. Scott Moody and Wendy Warcholik, "How Many Oklahomans Does It Take to Fund One Government Job?" Perspective, Vol. 15, Number 2, February 2008.

 

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