From today's Casper Star Tribune:
Wyoming has the largest percentage of state, federal and local government employees than anywhere else in the country, despite a slight drop from last year.
From jobs in education to city and state offices, government careers account for about 25 percent of the Wyoming workforce, according to a report by 24/7 Wall Street, released Tuesday and based the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Other low-population, energy-rich states made the top five, including Alaska, Oklahoma and New Mexico.
I'm a bit, but not hugely, surprised, that we top the list.
There's a bit of irony here, and I've pointed this out in prior posts, that while the state tends to view government with a degree of animosity, it's actually a major economic force in the state. That doesn't argue for something like socialism, but it does mean that state employment tends to be one of the things propping up Wyoming's economy in slack times, or even in regular times.
Some politicians this past year took a run at trying to acquire the Federal lands from the US with the concept being that Wyoming would somehow administer these better. What many in that camp really meant is administer less, with the odd idea being that somehow this would increase production of oil, gas and coal; whose prices are in fact controlled by the market, with regulation playing a fairly small role, in real terms, in those prices. That's something to think about. That likely would have done nearly nothing for production, but as the state can't afford to pay for the administration, it'd have just not done it and therefore not employed many who are in that field for the Federal government now.
If that sounds dire, the University of Wyoming has been busy laying people off for weeks. Not a week has gone by in the last several in which we haven't seen a headline The State government has a hiring freeze going on right now throughout itself. Even at that government employment of all types is making up 25% of the workforce here. If those who really feel that there's too much government of all types had their way, therefore, there'd be flat out less employment in the state.
I'm not saying that's good or bad, but I am thinking that the state's relationship with its own workforce, philosophically, tends not to really consider this.