Budget time is just around the corner.  As our local and County Commissioners ponder whether they’ll try and stick us with another tax increase, let’s take a quick look at the size and pay of our local government.

Employment figures put out by the NCESC show that local governments in Dare County have not yet come to grips with the fact that it’s time to tighten the old belt.  Employment and wages in the private sector have suffered while our local governments plod merrily along, feeling no pain.

Since 2006, private sector employment in Dare County has decreased by 8.9% while local government employment is unchanged. The average number of employees in local government is exactly the same as it was in 2006.

Comparison of Employment 2006-2010, Dare County

As for wages, private sector wages are down 1.6% from 2006 to 2010 while local government sector wages have risen by 9%.  On top of that, the average local government weekly wage in Dare County in 2010 was $792, which is 65% higher than the average private sector weekly wage of $479.

Weekly Wage Comparison 2006-2010, Dare County

Next time a Commissioner tells you that there is nowhere to cut, tell them to look a little harder.