MPPS Policy Brief: Michigan local government officials’ assessments of workforce wages and benefits

January 2023

This policy brief presents Michigan local government leaders' assessments regarding their governments’ employee pay and fringe benefit rates. These findings are based on statewide surveys of local government leaders in the spring 2022 wave of the Michigan Public Policy Survey (MPPS)— conducted between April 4 and June 6, 2022.

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Key Findings

  • In 2022, 75% of local leaders statewide reported their jurisdictions were increasing employee pay rates compared with the previous year, by far the highest since the MPPS started tracking the item in 2011. Counties (92%) and cities (88%) are more likely than villages (74%) or townships (70%) to report increased workforce pay rates (among those jurisdictions with employees). The overwhelming majority of these report “somewhat” increased pay rates while relatively few report “greatly” increased rates.

  • Despite a decade long trend in pay rate increases, 33% statewide say their local government’s pay rates are currently too low, up from approximately a quarter of jurisdictions that said the same in 2011, 2014, and 2017. Just 2% statewide say their pay rates are too high. Townships (29%) are less likely than counties (40%), cities (41%), or villages (41%) to say current pay rates are too low. 

  • Most local leaders (78%) say their employee’s fringe benefit packages are about right, with 9% saying they are too generous, and 12% saying they are not generous enough. These percentages have only changed marginally from earlier surveys in 2014 and 2017.