HONOLULU – Hawaii has more government workers as a percentage of all workers than every state in the union save Alaska, a new poll by Gallup shows.
Nearly three out of every 10 employees – or 27.8 percent of employed adults in Hawaii – work in a federal, state or local government agency, according to the survey. Hawaii falls behind the District of Columbia, at 29.2 percent, and Alaska, 28 percent.
Driving the booming government payrolls are factors of geography, military strategy and the strength of unions here. Taxpayers in turn pay some of the highest rates in the country to support sprawling bureaucracies from the local level on up, and are on the hook for pension and health care debts for decades to come.