Study after study shows the people who build out roads, guard our prison inmates, run our foster care programs, give us our license plates, collect our taxes…and many more jobs….are the worst-paid state employees in the United States.

A joint legislative committee is looking for a way to improve state employee salaries.   The Office of Administration calculates Missouri’s 52-thousand full-time workers earn an average of 36-thousand-524 dollars a year…2010 census figures say that is the worst average state worker salary in the nation. Workers in our eight surrounding states earn ten to 75 percent more.

A federal study says Missouri state employees earn 56 cents for each dollar federal employees in similar positions earn.

OA analyst Guy Krause says other studies put Missouri workers at the bottom, starting with a four-year census figure through 2009.

AUDIO: Guy Krause talks to commtitee :32

Most state workers have not had in-grade pay raises for a decade, at least.  And employees hired this year are drawing four percent less pay because they have to contribute that much to their pension accounts.  Until now, the state picked up 100 percent of those contributions.

The committee wants to have some recommendations for next year’s legislature.