On The Money: California Public Employees Highest Paid Of Any State

California is having a cash crisis, as evidenced by this letter issued today by State Controller John Chiang.

The state could run out of money by March, yet California is truly the Golden State for nearly 2 million government workers. A new survey by the U.S. Census Bureau shows they are the highest paid workers of any state.

California has about 1.8 million state and local government workers – far more than any other state. Of course California is also the most populous – but the paychecks here are the biggest of any state, as you can see below from the average monthly paychecks for state and local government workers.

DC $ 5,843
CA $ 5,470
NJ $ 5,345
NY $ 5,197
CT $ 5,038

California government workers make on average about $65,640 a year, second only to Washington, D.C. at $70,116. New Jersey is third at $64,140, while New York is fourth at $62,364. Connecticut public employees are fifth at $60,456 in yearly salaries.

By contrast the national average for government workers is about $50,000. Of course the cost of living is higher in California – but critics say government salaries here are too generous, especially in view of today announcement from the state controller.

“We think it’s ironic that the U.S. Census Bureau would release these figures on the same day that John Chiang announces that we’re going to be running out of cash in March,” said Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. Coupal added, “We see a lot of connection between those two facts.”

But government workers we talked to say they’re worth every penny.

“Well I’m worth that,” said Margaret Hamlin-Mills. The state worker added, “I don’t make that, but of course (I’m worth it)”.

“My first three years for the state I didn’t make anything and I have a degree,” stated Johnell Wilson. She added,” But I promoted from within and so, but I’m definitely not making that.”

There’s one category where California is not a leader – the ratio of government workers per 10,000 residents ranks near the bottom of the list.

Send your story ideas to On The Money via e-mail at onthemoney@kovr.com. You can also follow us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/CBS13OnTheMoney and via Twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/mikeluery

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  • glenn,c

    And the illegal Roaches are the highest paid too

  • get real

    what a stupid article, each state has its own economy i.e price of living. go match the price of a house here compared to some small state in the midwest. california one of the largest economies in the world. at least it mentioned the most populous

  • Osama Hangaminichad

    The highest paid are the politicians.

  • Fred

    Not only the highest paid, but by far the most of them. Combined its easy to see why the state budget is being bled to death by leaches

  • laurie209

    I see nothing wrong with California government workers making a good salary. Ca is a high cost state to live in. Most people want government jobs for the pay and great benefits. What’s wrong with that? Nothing.


      What’s wrong with working with the government?? What’s wrong?????

      I’ll tell you what’s wrong!! These overpaid, underqualified leeches who take ten smoke breaks a day plus a 90-minute lunch. Productivity is extremely low among public sector employees, thus it is a waste of taxpayers money and time.

      We need to contract all government jobs to the private sector, where those workers make about $30,000/year with no benefits and no union representation. That will save untold billions of dollars!! It’s time to clean house. Send all government work to the private sector and they’ll dazzle you with efficiency and performance.

      • jj

        Do you your homework about government contracts, and the money they make. Maybe a employee could be making $30,000, probably the lowest. Pretty sure that firm is making tons of money off taxpayers overall. BTW, most govt workers have worked private sector and EVERY private sector employee has the opportunity to apply for government work if they CHOOSE to. It’s not the Gov’t goes around picking particular people just to work for them.

  • Gary Lake

    California’s government workers salaries are kinda like the real world. Some of them make alot of money and alot of them make very little money and havn’t had a raise in years. As far as efficency goes, in my opinion there is alot of the intitlement culture with the vast majority of govt. workers.

  • nothingchanges

    As the S.S. California continues to sink with no lifeboats. Good luck with Capt’n Jerry at the helm.

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