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California's state government had 9.3 percent more employees in 2011 than it did 10 years earlier - closely tracking overall population growth - but its payroll costs had jumped by 42.4 percent in non-inflation-adjusted dollars, according to a new Census Bureau report.

That data are gleaned from the bureau's annual report on state government employment, which also reveals wide swings in the makeup of the state's workforce, which includes all agencies, regardless of funding source, and institutions of higher education.

In 2001, the state had the "full-time equivalent" of 372,678 employees and was paying them $1.7 billion a month. By 2011, the FTE's, as they are dubbed, had increased to 407,321 and payroll costs to $2.4 million billion.

Over the 10-year span, which included two major recessions separated by a brief period of economic expansion during the housing boom, FTE's in higher education, the largest single component of the state workforce, increased by 23 percent from 128,665 to 158,229, and prison payrolls, the second largest, jumped by a nearly identical amount -- from 48,896 to 60,007. Offsetting declines occurred in transportation agencies and state hospitals.

State employment in 2011 was also slightly lower than in 2010, but the decline was less than the 1.4 percent nationwide drop in state payrolls. Year-to-year declines in other states ranged as high as 7 percent in Arizona while a few states recorded employment increases, topped by 13.3 percent in Arkansas.

Editor's note--Corrected at 12:55 p.m. Aug. 23, 2012 to reflect monthly, not annual, payroll cost. Updated 1:50 p.m. Aug. 24, 2012 to clarify that the 10-year data is not adjusted for inflation.


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