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Roy Bahl:

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There is a great deal of policy concern over the issue of employment and compensation levels in the public sector. This concern covers topics ranging from rising direct labor costs and pension benefits, to the unbalanced growth of central city government and other service sector employment, to power inequality in collective bargaining, to the lack of incentive for productivity improvement. While there have been substantive case studies which have made effective use of local data to deal with certain of these issues, aggregate work on the trends in state-local government public employment has been less satisfactory. Any analysis of state and local government employment problems on an aggregate basis depends on the extent and quality of data available. In this context, this article will undertake two tasks: a description of the trends in public employment, and an assessment of the value and comparability of those data which are presently available.


Originally published in Bahl, Roy W., David Greytak, Alan K. Campbell, and Michael J. Wasylenko. 1972. “Intergovernmental and Functional Aspects of Public Employment Trends in the United States.” Public Administration Review 32 (6): 815–32.

(c) Wiley. Posted by permission.


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