* Some of the state government haters may be surprised by this, but most of us already know that Illinois has long had one of the lowest per capita workforces in the nation. And now, we’re the lowest, excluding schools and higher ed…
Alaska had the most with 34.9, while Illinois had the fewest with 4.1 after cutting more than 4,000 workers from the state payroll since 2007. The AP figures exclude K-12 teachers and employees in higher education systems.
Indiana, Ohio and Michigan were the only other states with five or fewer state employees per 1,000 residents. Each has seen steep reductions in the number of state workers since 2007 because of budget pressures. […]
In Texas, the number of state government employees rose by more than 7,300 between 2007 and 2011. But Mark Miner, a spokesman for Republican Gov. Rick Perry, stressed that the state’s rising population meant the number of state workers dropped from 6.07 to 6.02 as measured per capita. Perry is seeking the GOP presidential nomination. […]
…Wisconsin ranks 41st in the country with 6.2 state employees per 1,000 people…
* AFSCME Council 31 executive director Henry Bayer has already issued a response…
“After all the extreme rhetoric from politicians and pundits attacking public employees, here is the reality: Illinois has the nation’s fewest state employees per resident. It’s been true for years. Yet in recent months politicians of both parties have pushed for thousands of layoffs, pension cuts and limits on collective bargaining, while the governor claims he can’t afford a 2 percent pay increase for frontline workers.
“The men and women who do the real work of state government deserve thanks, not blame. Despite skeleton staffs, unmanageable caseloads and dangerous overcrowding, they care for the elderly and disabled, protect children from abuse, help struggling families and keep prisons safe.
“The state’s fiscal problems are caused by backward budget priorities and an unfair tax structure that offers special treatment for big corporations and rich individuals.”
* Meanwhile, the Illinois Policy Institute took a look at some new IRS data…
Recent data from the Internal Revenue Service shows that, in 2009, Illinois netted a loss of people to 43 states, including each of its neighbors – Wisconsin, Indiana, Missouri, Kentucky and Iowa. Over the course of the entire year, the state saw a net of 40,000 people leave Illinois for another state.
The data reflects a continuation of a trend of out-migration from Illinois that has lasted more than a decade. Between 1995 and 2009, the state lost on a net basis more than 806,000 people to out-migration.
When people leave, they take their income and their talent with them. In 2009 alone, Illinois lost residents who took with them a net of $1.5 billion in taxable income. From 1995 to 2009, Illinois lost out on a net of $26 billion in taxable income to out-migration.
You can see the raw IRS data here.
Keep in mind this data was compiled well before the tax hike. Also, the net out-migration actually seems to be slowing. The average over 15 years is just under 54,000, so 40,000 net outmigration is less. That could be because of the recession and the fact that lots of people can’t sell their houses, however.