Mo. Government Looks to Increase State Wages, Poll Disagrees

6 years 11 months 1 week ago Thursday, November 03 2011 Nov 3, 2011 Thursday, November 03, 2011 1:41:00 PM CDT November 03, 2011 in News
By: Ben Wagner
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JEFFERSON CITY - A government subcommittee is now beginning to collect data on what many see as dismal Missouri state employee wages to complete a strategy report by the end of the year.

That report looks to develop strategies to increase state employee wages, which rank dead last among U.S. state averages, according to Missouri House documents.

According to House Concurrent resolution No. 32, Missouri state employees make an average of $38,184 -- 26 percent less than the national average of $51,507. The Department of Labor Statistics reports Missouri also has the 15th highest unemployment rate in the country.

But a poll from the Manhattan Institute for Police Research shows 41% of Americans think state employees already make too much money.

Jeff Mazur, executive director for the Jefferson City branch of the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), said he's not surprised about the poll's results.

"Real concerted efforts from politicians to paint state employees as villains leads to common misconceptions about state employee wages," he said.

As government looks to juggle a balanced budget while trying to increase state employee wages, it is unclear whether any real changes will come of the report.

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