Town as Big Business
One could understand, perhaps, the city/town being its own biggest employer in a rural area or suburb with little by way of industry. But Warwick? Bob Cushman writes:
According to Warwick’s 2007 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the City of Warwick was the No. 1 employer in Warwick, with 2,900 employees. Number two was Kent Hospital, with 2,050 employees. Number three was Metropolitan Life/Property Insurance, with 1,450 employees. Number four was United Parcel Service, with 1,000 employees. Number five was Leviton Manufacturing, with 840 employees.
In 1998, the population of Warwick was 85,427 citizens. By 2007, the population had increased slightly, to 87,365 citizens. In 1998, the number of full-time municipal employees was 875. By 2008, the number of municipal employees had increased more than 6 percent, to 929 employees.
In 1997, the number of students in Warwick’s schools was 12,124. By 2008, the number had decreased to 11,150 students. In 2012, the projected student population is expected to further decrease, to 10,442, or a 14 percent decline from 1997 levels. In 1997, the number of teachers employed was 1,056. By 2003, the teaching staff had increased more than 7 percent, to 1,133.
Since then the teaching staff has been reduced to 1,088 teachers, still an increase of 3 percent over 1997 levels.
Little wonder public-sector unions do so well, as a political constituency, when the biggest employer in town receives its revenue through force of tax.