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lunes, 7 de septiembre de 2009

P.R. public employment higher than States

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Caribbean Business JOHN MARINO Puerto Rico’s government employs far more workers than most states and appears to have the highest per capita level of public employment in the U.S., according to federal and local labor and population statistics. The central government employed 235,300 workers in July 2009, the most recent statistics released by the Labor Department. When the island’s 61,700 municipal workers are factored in, the total increases to 297,000. Only the three most populous states employ more workers at the state level than Puerto Rico: California with 334,432 employees, Texas with 259,578 and New York with 236,719. On a per capita basis, Puerto Rico employs 5.95 workers per 100 residents in the central government and 7.51 workers per 100 residents in the central and municipal governments combined, based on the most recent U.S. Census Bureau population statistics, which pegged the island population at 3.954 million in 2008. New York State employs 1.21 state workers for every 100 residents, a ratio that increases to 4.24 workers per 100 residents when county, township and municipal workers are also counted. California, meanwhile, employs 0.9 workers per 100 residents at the state level, while the ratio in Texas is 1.06 per 100 residents. Florida employs 0.93 workers per 100 residents at the state level and 2.4 workers when all local government workers are included. In Washington state, 1.53 workers are employed by the state for every 100 residents, a figure that goes up to 2.68 workers when county, municipal and township employees are factored in. In New Jersey, there are 1.65 state workers employed for every 100 residents, a figure that goes up to 2.35 per 100 when other public employment is factored in. The two states with the closest populations to Puerto Rico are Kentucky, which employs 1.60 state workers for every 100 residents (2.62 workers when all local government is included), and Oregon, which employs 1.38 state workers for 100 residents (2.39 per 100 residents when all public workers are counted). Only sparsely populated and geographically giant Alaska has per capital public employment ratios that approach Puerto Rico. With a population of 686,293, there are 3.44 state employees for every 100 residents and 6.8 state, county and municipal employees for every 100 residents. In May, dismissal notices were sent out to some 7,816 Puerto Rico government workers in the first round of what could approach 30,000 layoffs by the end of the calendar year. Gov. Luis Fortuño reiterated last month that $2 billion must be cut from annual government spending. Administration officials say a restructuring of government to bring spending in line with revenue is needed to avoid a downgrade of the Commonwealth’s bond rating to junk, or noninvestment-grade. Last week, the Center for the New Economy warned government layoffs would deal the biggest blow to the island’s middle class which, in turn, would have negative economic consequences. The Planning Board said the economy shrank by 5.5% last year, and the unemployment rate hit 16.5% in July, according to the Labor Department..