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Analysis: Clark County Government Workers among Highest-Paid In Nation

An analysis of salary data by the Washington Examiner reveals county government workers in Clark County are paid second-highest in the nation when compared to the median pay of local private sector employees and 14th-highest among county government employees nationally.

Data for the analysis came from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Examiner computed average county worker salaries from the Census Bureau’s 2011 Government Employment & Payroll survey, and compared them with the median salaries of full-time workers in the same counties, from the Census’ 2009-2011 tally, to account for cost of living differences. (Median salaries were not available from the government employees survey.) All counties with populations of 100,000 or more, and a sampling of smaller ones, were included. Teachers, because they aren’t year-round employees, were excluded.

The average salary for a county employee in Clark County is $75,682. That figure is 190%, nearly twice, the $39,720 median salary of private-sector workers. Miami-Dade County in Florida is the only county in the analysis with a greater disparity, at 240%.

Six of the top ten disparities occur in counties in California. In addition, Golden State counties comprise 9 of the top 10 highest salaries for county employees. Clark County employees are 14th in terms of highest salaries.

Highest-paid among Clark County employees, according to the analysis, are firefighters, who make an average of $87,549. Some Clark County firefighters were implicated in a scandal two years ago for abusing sick leave and overtime in order to illegitimately boost their pay.

Utilities/Sanitation are second-highest paid at $82,850 followed by Justice employees at $76,193. Transportation employees, at $61,540 per year, were the lowest-paid of the eight categories of county employees listed in the analysis. These eight categories comprise 96% of Clark County employees.

Neither the level of pay revealed in this analysis nor the existence of firefighters at the top of the scale should be a surprise to those who are familiar with the Nevada Policy Research Institute’s (NPRI) TransparentNevada website. For the last several years TransparentNevada has collected and published salary information for public employees across the state.

TransparentNevada’s most recent report reveals 316 Clark County employees received base pay in excess of $100,000 in 2012.

Michael Chamberlain

Michael Chamberlain is the Editor of Watchdog Wire - Nevada. Please contact him at Nevada@watchdogwire.com for story ideas or to get involved in citizen journalism in Nevada. Follow Michael on Twitter: @michaelpchamber

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Categories: Budget and Finance, Government Transparency, Must Read, Waste, Fraud and Abuse
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