New York State government payrolls shrunk by 1,856 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees, or less than one percent, during a two-year period ending in January 2010, according to the latest data from the Office of the State Comptroller. However, the state still employed more workers than it did at the same point six years ago, in the wake of a less severe economic downturn and fiscal crisis.

Excluding higher education, the state payroll totaled 163,462 FTE employees as of the first payroll in January. When employees of the State University and City University are added, the total workforce in January reached 228,595 FTE employees, according to the comptroller’s data. The comparable figures for the same period in 2008 were 168,224 and 230,450 FTEs, respectively.

There has been relatively little variance in the state payroll over the past decade, despite the sharp economic ups and downs experienced during this period. The total payroll including higher education is slightly higher than it was a decade ago.

While there are now fewer employees than there were two years ago, their weighted average salary has grown from $58,124 in January 2008 to $64,164 this year, an increase of 10 percent, the comptroller’s data indicates.* Benefits and federal payroll taxes add an average of $28,168 to employee wage costs, based on a formula developed by Division of Budget. That brings the total cost of the average employee to $92,332.

About the Author

E.J. McMahon

Edmund J. McMahon is a senior fellow at the Empire Center.

Read more by E.J. McMahon

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