MADISON (WKOW) -- Wisconsin has fewer state and local government employees than most other states in the country, according to a review of new census statistics.
The Wisconsin Budget Project -- an initiative of the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families -- analyzed recently-released U.S. Census bureau data that shows the state had a 5.4 percent smaller public sector per capita in 2011 than the national average. Wisconsin ranks 40th in the nation.
The study looked at a wide variety of state and local employees, including teachers, highway workers, corrections guards, firefighters and police officers.
"The Census Bureau figures show that only 10 other states had a leaner public sector than Wisconsin in 2011," said Wisconsin Budget Project research analyst Tamarine Cornelius. "Some Wisconsinites might be surprised by the new data, but Wisconsin has actually had fewer state and local employees per capita than the national average for nearly two decades."
The national average of full-time positions per 1,000 residents in 2011 was 52.5 positions. Wisconsin had 49.6.
Researchers say if Wisconsin had stayed on track with 1993 numbers, the state would have had about 8,000 more full-time government positions.
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