As a result of budget constraints, Maine had fewer state employees in 2010 than it had thirty years ago in 1980. The number funded from state income and sales taxes (the General Fund) represents less than .5% (one-half of one percent) of the state’s population.
The number of people employed by all funds (General, Highway, Federal and others) is .9% (less than 1 percent) of the state’s population in 2010. This has been virtually the same for the past three decades. In 1980 it was at its recent high at 1.4% of the population. The figure promptly dropped to 1.1 percent in 1982. Since 1996, the number of state employess has remained at less than one percent of the population.
Partially because of the recession and the loss of employment, the number of state employees as a percent of all non-farm employment in 2010 ticked up to 2.3 percent from 2.1 percent in 2008. However, this is still far less than the 3.9 percent in 1980.
During the past thirty years, the number of state employees peaked at 16,700. Even as the population increased since then, the number has been below 15,000 since 1996, and stood at 13,700 in 2010.