Right-Sizing Alaska’s State Government Workforce

A few weeks ago the Alaska Policy Forum highlighted an analysis from Key Policy Data, a national data visualization firm. The analysis found that in 2016 Alaska had the second-least productive state and local public sector workforce in the U.S. Since then, Key Policy Data (KPD) has released a new analysis that looks at only state workers and the results are even more disturbing.

In the KPD analysis, Right-Sizing Alaska’s State Government Workforce, the taxpayer cost of the average state government worker in 2016 was $105,759 per job while the average private sector employee cost was $68,152. This 55% difference between private and public sector compensation in Alaska is the highest in the U.S., far above the U.S. average of 19%, and a new record differential for the state of Alaska. As recently as 2008, public sector workers were compensated 34% more than the private sector. In 1979 the differential was only 9%.

The latest KPD analysis concludes that if Alaska state workers were able to achieve the U.S. “average” in productivity, Alaska taxpayers would save $1.3B/year in payroll costs.

This KPD analysis makes it obvious that the state has made very little progress in improving the efficiency of state government, while asking a private sector in recession to consider new taxes.

Read the full analysis and see the charts here:  https://sway.com/5dkBRt5Uf5InS4sz?ref=Link