The Humble Libertarian

Building a small army to take over the world and... leave everybody alone.


Friday, April 6, 2012

Tax Burden: 40 Million Government Workers

Ever wonder how many government workers there are? A mind blowing 40 million folks depend on the government for paychecks (entitlements excluded) either directly or indirectly through contract labor.
How many people work for governments in the United States. Let’s look at the numbers. The usual estimate of the number of employees of the U.S. government is 2.8 million. The estimate is fake. This does not count military personnel. But most important, it does not count contract workers paid by the federal government....One man has estimated the total: Prof. Paul Light of New York University.... Here is his estimate: 11 million, broken down as follows: 1.8 million civil servants, 870,000 postal workers, 1.4 million military personnel, 4.4 million contractors, and 2.5 million grantees. These figures are from 2006.Yet the federal government isn’t all. Despite its huge budgets, state and local governments dwarf Washington in direct employment. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 3.8 million full-time and 1.5 million part-time employees on state payrolls. Local governments add a further 11 million full-time and 3.2 million part-time personnel. This means that state and local governments combined employ 19.5 million Americans. When we add up the true size of the federal workforce — civil servants, postal workers, military personnel, contractors, grantees, and bailed-out businesses — and add in state- and local-government employees — civil servants, teachers, firefighters, and police officers — we reach the astonishing figure of nearly 40 million Americans employed in some way by government. That means that about 17 percent of the American labor pool — one in every six workers — owes its living to the taxpayer.
Read the rest here
The Tea Party Economist