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RB_Capitol_Dome.JPGCalifornia's 2.2 million state, local government and public school workers were among the nation's highest paid public employees in 2011, according to an annual survey by the Census Bureau.

At an average of $4,604 per month, California's public employees - both full-time and part-time - had the nation's third highest salary levels among the states, slightly behind New York's $4,679 and New Jersey's $4,642. The District of Columbia topped all at $5,862. California's salary level was 26.1 percent above the $3,652 national average.

California's full-time public employees ranked No. 1 among the states at an average of $5,952 per month but were No. 2 when the District of Columbia was included. New Jersey was No. 3.

The state's 2.2 million public workers were by far the nation's highest total, but with 11.1 percent of the nation's 19.3 million state and local government employees, California's share was slightly lower than its share of the U.S. population.

However, because of its high salaries, the roughly $119 billion spent on California's state and local government payrolls in 2011 was about 14 percent of the nation's total, above its percentage of the national population.

PHOTO: The California Capitol dome. The Sacramento Bee/Randall Benton



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