Today the Bureau of Labor Statistics released Wichita Metro Area February employment numbers, small gains are a positive step, but yet again we see public sector employment growth outpacing the private sector. One month is nothing to fret over but a 13 year trend can be telling, as this can only mean higher taxes on a struggling private sector.
Since 1998 the Wichita Metro Area has seen all levels government grow and grow, while private sector employment has often failed to stay above water. The chart below indexes Wichita Metro Area employment growth in the private sector and levels of government, (any value below 100 means employment is lower than 1998 levels).
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Wichita private sector employment peaked in 2008 at 267,000, but has since lost 24,500 jobs. Only 4 of the 13 years since 1998 has Wichita employed more private sector workers than in 1998.
All local gov't in the metro area fared better, each year setting a new record level of public employment, until shaving a few workers in 2011.
In 1998 there were 10.35 private sector employees supporting 1 local public sector employee, by 2011 that number decreased to 8.45. Meaning a heftier tax burden must be carried by each private sector employee to support the growing local public sector.