March 6, 2019
06 Mar 2019

Political Update – March 5, 2019


Study: Nevada local government employees fare better than counterparts in 45 states 

Bethany Blankley

March 1, 2019

Local government workers in Nevada earn 46 percent more than their private sector counterparts, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the median earnings for local government workers in Nevada were higher than their government peers in 45 other states.

Statewide, government salaries and benefits cost taxpayers about $10 billion last year, the Nevada Public Policy Institute (NPRI) says – totaling 80 percent of all tax revenue collected by every state and local government agency in Nevada.

“If Nevada’s government pay gap continues its upward growth, the resulting tax hikes necessary to sustain such excess may become too great to bear,” Robert Fellner, director of Policy at NPRI, said.

There are different ways to interpret the data, Fellner explained, and not all comparisons are equivalent.

When considering education, experience and other factors, the salaries of local government employees and private sector employees are nearly equivalent, Fellner said. However, when considering total compensation, local government employees fare better than their private sector counterparts.

According to the Census Bureau’s 2017 earnings estimates for the median full-time, year-round worker, the disparity between government and private sector employees in Nevada is the largest in the U.S. By this measure it is nearly six times greater than the 8 percent median state differential nationwide.

The median earnings for local government workers in Nevada in 2017 were $58,644; the median for their private sector employee counterparts was $40,259.

Nevada state government employees’ median income of $51,948 was nearly 13 percent less than that of local government employees, Fellner points out.

“Study results have found that Nevada government workers [both local and state] can make as much as 57 percent more than a private-sector worker in the same jobs thanks to the massively richer health and retirement benefits government workers receive,” Fellner says.


Quote of
the week



“If Nevada’s government pay gap continues its upward growth, the resulting tax hikes necessary to sustain such excess may become too great to bear.”

Robert Fellner,

NPRI Policy Director,
Mar 1, 2019

COMMENTARY: Collective bargaining for state government workers would bust the budget

Andrew G. Biggs
Special to the Review-Journal

March 2, 2019

In the coming days, the Legislature will consider whether to allow Nevada’s state government employees to collectively bargain. Right on time, the union-affiliated Economic Policy Institute has produced research purporting to show that Nevada state workers are underpaid. But that research is incorrect.

Nevada’s state government employees receive salaries slightly below private-sector levels, but benefits that are massively more generous. For most state employees, total compensation almost surely exceeds what they would receive in private-sector jobs.

Keystone’s Mission:

To recruit, support and advocate for candidates for public office who support private sector job creation, low taxation, a responsible regulatory environment, and effective delivery of essential state services.

Keystone’s Mission:

• To focus on candidate support on state legislative races and the governor’s office.
• To oppose any form of corporate income taxes or other business taxes that discourage capital investment and therefore job creation.
• Support limiting Nevada state government spending to the rate of population growth.

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