Raleigh, N.C. – North Carolina voters agree that it is wrong for the number of government employees to grow as private employers in the state lay off workers according to a new poll released today by the Civitas Institute.
According to the live caller poll of 600 likely voters, 60 percent of voters said they agree that it is wrong for the number of government employees to grow at a time when private employers are laying off workers. Thirty-one percent disagree that it is wrong, and nine percent said they are not sure.
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that North Carolina lost 133,400 private sector jobs over the last decade, while North Carolina government added more than 34,000 new positions. These figures appear to be resonating with citizens as there is bipartisan agreement concerning growth of the government jobs sector. Sixty-five percent of Republicans and 53 percent of Democrats agree that government employment should not increase as private sector growth decreases. Sixty-five percent of unaffiliated voters also agree.
“As private employers have shed jobs over the past few months and years, government jobs have continued to grow. Just last month, government added 16,000 new workers in North Carolina while private sector jobs fell by 3,000,” said Civitas Institute Senior Legislative Analyst Chris Hayes. “North Carolina’s voters see the fallacy in growing government while the private sector contracts.”
When asked if they agree or disagree that no state employee should be permitted to be paid more than the $135,000 yearly amount that the Governor of North Carolina receives, 61 percent of voters said they agree. Thirty-one percent said they disagree, and 8 percent said they are not sure.
Furthermore, half of the voters who work for the government said they agree with the pay cap for state employees. Forty-four percent of government workers said they disagree, and 8 percent said they were not sure.
“Voters clearly understand that adding government workers has a cost to taxpayers,” added Hayes.
As the state struggles with the lowest number of private sector jobs for any May since 2003 (total of 3.18 million), 64 percent of voters agree that the rate of growth of government jobs should not exceed the rate of growth of private sector jobs. Twenty-three percent said they disagree, and 13 percent said they are not sure. Additionally, over half of voters who work for the government said they agree that government job growth shouldn’t exceed that of private. Thirty-two percent said they disagree, and 10 percent said they are not sure.
The Civitas Poll is the only monthly live-caller poll of critical issues facing North Carolina. For more information on Civitas polling see www.nccivitas.org/media/poll-results/.
Full text of questions:
At a time when private employers are laying off workers, it is wrong for the number of government employees to grow.
Agree – 60%
Disagree – 31%
Not Sure – 9%
The Governor of North Carolina makes $135,000 a year, and no state employee should be permitted to be paid more than that amount.
Agree – 61%
Disagree – 31%
Not Sure – 8%
The rate of growth of government jobs should not exceed the rate of growth of private sector jobs.
Agree – 64%
Disagree – 23%
Not Sure – 13%
Click here for full results and crosstabs
This poll of 600 likely general election voters in North Carolina was conducted June 15-18, 2010 by Tel Opinion Research of Alexandria, Virginia. All respondents were part of a fully representative sample of registered voters in North Carolina. For purposes of this study, voters we interviewed had to have voted in either the 2004, 2006 or 2008 general elections or were newly registered voters since 2008.
The confidence interval associated with a sample of this size is such that: 95 percent of the time, results from 600 interviews (registered voters) will be within +-4% of the “True Values.” True Values refer to the results obtained if it were possible to interview every person in North Carolina who had voted in either the 2004, 2006 or 2008 general elections or were newly registered voters since 2008.