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Indicators Profile: Government As An Industry

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Sonora, CA — As part of a series of news stories that look at the Tuolumne County Profile 2012 Community Indicators Project, our focus is on government as an industry.

The information is provided by the Sonora Area Foundation who contracted with the Center for Economic Development at California State University, Chico to create the study. It aids the community in assessing the needs of Tuolumne County.

The report states “Because government is often a large portion of rural a county’s local economy, increases or decreases in government expenditures can have a direct impact on the county’s economy.”

The study further found, “Total government jobs in Tuolumne County consistently increased from 2005-2008, however decreased 6.3 percent in 2009. Earnings by government employees decreased from $357.2 million in 2008 to $334.7 million in 2009.

In 2009, government workers earnings accounted for 17.7 percent of the total earnings in the county.” Those figures do not include city government revenues or expenditures, or those from special districts such as schools, utility districts, public safety districts or Federal. Included are police, fire and public protection, admin, public assistance, health and sanitation, transportation and education and library.

When compared with the state average Tuolumne County spent slightly more on police, fire and public protection. Admin, personnel and other general accounted for nearly 20% of the expenditures, nearly double the state average of 10%. Significantly less than the state average was spent on public assistance and slightly less than the state average for health and sanitation. Transportation was 10% of the total county expenditures compared to a state average of less than 5%.

Thirty percent of the County government revenue comes from the state 26% come from property taxes. Revenue percentages from the top six categories were within 5% or less of matching with state averages. Money from Federal funding was 5% lower than the state average, money from property taxes was slightly higher and taxes other than property is double the state average at just over 5% of the total revenue the county gets.

Other industries in the report had decreases in revenue with the most recent data being for 2009. Agriculture, which includes forestry and fishing, earnings were down by 50% between 2007 and 2008. In 2001 their earnings were 1.5% of Tuolumne County earnings and now they are only .4%. Energy and utilities earnings were up 3% from 2008. The report states energy and utility jobs were earning higher earnings than average in the industry.

Construction earnings declined at a rate matching the state average and the decline slowed in 2010. Manufacturing, employs 842 and was down 14.6% in 2009 from 2008. Travel and recreation earnings declined 6.3% with 2,874 jobs contributing a steady 3% of the earnings of Tuolumne County. Retail earnings decreased to $77.4 million in 2009 a 8.8 percent loss from 2008.

The previous news story “Tuolumne Population Indicators” is here.

The full report can be downloaded at