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Abstract

This study examines patterns of total employment growth and growth in the public sector. We use data from the 50 states with a focus on the 1993 to 2004 time period. We define the public sector with respect to state government as well as local government with the latter including counties, municipalities, K-12 public schools and special districts. We maintain that given the labor intensive nature of the public sector we can assess the size of the government by monitoring public sector employment. The results clearly suggest that Wisconsin's public sector, as measured by employment, is not "out of control" and growth in the public sector is a natural by-product of growth in the overall economy.

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