Tightening Our Belts in W.Va.

For many years, West Virginia governors and legislators have promised to reduce the size of state government. It always has seemed to grow, however.

Not anymore. State government actually has been trimmed down during the past two years, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Census analysts compile state and federal government employment and payroll numbers annually. The most recently released reports are for 2013-2015.

West Virginia state employment was the equivalent of 41,120 fulltime workers during 2013. That excludes school teachers, whose pay comes mostly from Charleston but who are classed as county employees.

But in 2015, the FTE number for our state had dropped to 40,131, according to the Census Bureau. That is a decrease of nearly 1,000 employees.

Good for Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and legislators! Many Mountain State residents and businesses have had to tighten our belts. State government should do so, too — though there is room for even more cost control.

By the way, during the same period, federal government employment increased by the equivalent of 26,497 fulltime workers.

But you probably would have guessed that.


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