Sunday, June 05, 2011

20,000 state workers are missing

MPR reports today that the state's largest employer, itself, will have to lay off tens of thousands of workers in the event of a shutdown.  Aside from the fact that MPR can report that the state of Minnesota is the largest employer and not realize that means government is too big, they seem to be missing about 20,000 state workers.  From June 3rd-

State government is the largest single employer in Minnesota. There are about 35,000 employees working for various state agencies under the executive branch. That doesn't include some 4,000 people working in state courts and higher education. 

 But wait a minute!  Last year MPR fact checked a claim by Tom Emmer that three out of the top five employers in Minnesota were government.  And they agreed with Emmer's source, Twin Cities Business Magazine, that there are almost 55,000 state employees-

The state of Minnesota is ranked first, employing 54,900 people.

They counted higher education separately, so that can't be the source of the error.

The University of Minnesota, which gets only 18 percent of its budget from the state, is in fifth place with 25,976 employees. It's important to note that the U of M is not part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System, which employs about 19,500 full-and-part time workers. All told, that's 45,476 employees.

And they aren't getting confused by federal government workers, who were also identified-

In third place is the federal government, which has 32,637 employees

So what happened to the 20,000 state workers that Business Magazine counted last year and that MPR agreed with?  


Anonymous said...

The GOP legislature made it clear they want to slash government, so they probably left for greener pastures.

Anonymous said...

Those missing 20,000 are MNSCU. Please notice that they are not counted separately in the Twin Cities Business Magazine article. Unlike UM staff, MNSCU staff are regular state employees.

- A former MNSCU employee

Dave Thul said...

I understand that, anon. But wont all state workers be affected by the shutdown?

My point is that MPR's article is trying to emphasize the size of the impact of a furlough to state workers, so they would have every reason to include MNSCU and U of M workers in that figure. Why claim 35,000 workers out of a job when they could claim 55,000 and make their story a bigger sell?