Wikinvest Wire

Goods producing vs. government jobs

Monday, January 04, 2010

I'd planned to put this chart up for some time now, ever since it was noticed that, back in late-2007, the total number of government jobs exceeded the total number of goods producing jobs. After the events of the last two years, the gap is now about four million.
IMAGE The Goods Producing category currently includes less than a million workers in mining and logging, about 6 million in construction, and 11.7 million in manufacturing.

The Government category includes 2.8 million federal employees and almost 20 million state and local workers, just over half of whom work in education.

I don't know whether to laugh or cry...

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Anonymous said...

Don't assume that it's the government's fault. Smoothing out the goods producing graph you see that it grew at only a slightly lower rate as the gov't payroll. Then Reagan came. Outsourcing. Deregulation. Globalization.

A steadily growing population requires more people to service their public needs. so it is no surprise that the gov't payroll has grown like that.


fish said...

I don't know whether to laugh or cry...

I suggest a long wracking cry for our lost future.

Anonymous said...

It's fair to say that there is something fundamentally wrong in an economy when you go from a ratio of four-to-one (mfg. to govt.) to less than one.

Anonymous said...

Improved technology reduced manufacturing employees, just as machines reduced the number of farmers. That is, machines now do most manufacturing, with a relatively few people needed to tend the machines.

Unfortunately, technology is not being similarly leveraged to reduce the number of public employees needed. Because of the Baumol effect (plus lobbies), this labor intensive sector is becoming very expensive.

The 10 million people in the public school system are an example of the burden this is placing on the nation. Because of the over reliance of education on the property tax, many areas tried to gentrify in an attempt to make property tax revenues match up with education costs. (Zoning only McMansions, and forbidding modest homes affordable to the lower 60%) This helped magnify the housing situation into a multi trillion dollar taxpayer bailout (along with printing), and has left many less well to do citizens homeless.

But What do I Know? said...

Thanks for this, Tim. Does the education component include colleges and universities? I mean, how many school age children are there in this country? 20% of the population--or 60 million (I'm guessing) That means one education job for 6 kids. . . And my kid's school has 25 kids in a class (and it's one of the highest cost school districts in the state.) That's one hell of a lot of administrators.

Can you provide a link to the raw data that the chart is based on?


Tim said...

Raw data is at the BLS and it includes about 8 million in local education (K thru 12, presumably) and 2.5 million in state education (college).

Anonymous said...

I do know whether to laugh or cry - luckily I'm too dehydrated.

Steve in Greensboro said...

The parasites are overwhelming the host.

Anonymous said...

That's at least $2-3 trillion/year in taxpayer expenses just for keeping these "civil servants."

I assuming a conservative $100,000 expense per employee. With promotions and all that, it probably is several times that. In addition, we need to consider the work-related expenses which will be major multiplying factor.

Therefore, I think we should cry.

Anonymous said...

If it's not GWB, it's GHWB and if you can't place blame there, let's go all the way back to Reagan. I love this. The Dems have done nothing to promote more government employment and dependency?????? Give me a break. Use your damn heads.


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