Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Playing with numbers

Numbers

CA population (2006): 36,457,549 (Number found here)
CA total labor force (2006): 17,929,100 (Number found here)
CA unemployed (2006): 880,400 (Number found here)
CA working (2006): 19,929,100-880,400 = 17,048,700
CA number of state/local workers per 10,000 residents (2006): 486 (Number found here)
Therefore, total number of state/local workers in CA (2006): 36,457,549/10,000 X 486 = 1,771,836
Total # of Californians working in private sector (2006): 17,929,100 – (1,771836+880,400) = 15,276,863
Public sector jobs as a percentage of the workforce: 1,771,836/17,048,700 X 100 = 10.39%
Number private sector workers per public sector worker: 15,276,863/1,771,836 = 8.6

Analysis

Wow! I knew the numbers would be ugly, but this was still a bit of a surprise to me. 8.6 private sector workers per public sector worker? Really? All of these jobs are critical to the smooth running of our society? Over ten percent of the workforce is paid by taxing the rest. How can this be sustainable? I guess by looking at California’s current fiscal crisis, it really can’t.
I’m pretty sure these numbers don’t even include federal employees (nor military, whom I do not begrudge paying), so the numbers must be even worse than that – nor do they include the thousands of govt. retirees in the state, busily chugging away at the public tit at a rate typically north of 90% of their pay at retirement.
Please bear in mind that these numbers are from 2006, when the economy was humming, and the state unemployment rate was a mere 4.9%.

So how do the numbers look like this year?

Current numbers for this year: Total labor force: 18,390,500, unemployed 2,248,000, giving us a total number working in CA of 16,142,500, and an unemployment rate of 12.2%.
So – the total number of workers has shrunk by almost one million since 2006, and although I cannot find numbers of state/local workers for this year (my google-fu is not so strong), I can almost guaran-fucking-tee you that it’s gotten higher than 486 per 10,000 residents.
Here's a rough number - 2.5 million, which works out to 15.49% of the workforce! Or, 5.45 private sector employees per public sector employee. Unbelievable. Not to mention the fact that the average government wage is about 14% higher than its private sector equivalent. All under the watchful eye of a Republican governor. Who happened to run on promises of fiscal responsibility. I don't think he really gets that concept.

I guess at least its not as bad as the UK... yet.

The reason I started looking into this was something that I read in the local fishwrap about Meg Whitman, the former CEO of Ebay who is going to run for governor in 2010. One of her promises is apparently to cut 40,000 state employees from the workforce.

6 comments:

DirtCrashr said...

We're f*ed. Those numbers say it all and show how Arnold didn't have a chance - not any more than a Kennedy without alcoholism. The numbers show that Democrats run the State. They benefit from the union dues of the 15.49% public sector Government Employees Union members - the five-to-one ratio, with the 14% higher average earnings. Republicans (such as they are) exist only as a Nomenkaltura, as Billy Beck says, "a necessarily hierarchical arrangement of shadow politics known as "gaming the system" - and what Ayn Rand called "The Politics of Pull". But they don't have much pull, just enough to make it appear the Game is legit - they get a few Districts in which they can play Big-Fish and suck at the Public Trough, just enough to satisfy the players.
I'll vote for Meg, maybe, but I think she'll get co-opted into the Game.

Kevin said...

That's a good take DC - that there's just enough of a Republican prescence in the state to give the illusion of a two party system. This state has not been a democracy in a long time.

DirtCrashr said...

OOps, did I get my numbers backwards?
5.45 private sector employees per each public sector employee - maybe we have a chance since it's not yet inverted?

Larry said...

This doesn't account for people drawinfg from the dole who are not seeking work: "unemployed" is merely those who report seekign work, not full-time welfare dependents who don't desire to work. That would skew the worker/dependent relationship even further.

Kevin said...

You're right, Larry - there are quite a few variables I left out... It makes the mind boggle how such a system can function, and how dependent the whole rotten edifice is on the taxes from the rich.

Kevin said...

DC - I think our only chance is to reverse the trend, but I have no idea how to do that...