About 82% of full-time local and state government employees participated in their employers’ health benefits programs in 2007, down from 86% in 1998.

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics has published the 2007 statistics in a new report based on the National Compensation Survey.

The last BLS state and local benefits study covered data gathered in 1998, and officials note that the teams that conducted the 1998 and 2007 surveys used different methods for gathering and tabulating data.

A rough comparison of the 1998 and 2007 figures suggests that full-time employee participation in state and local government employer dental plans may have fallen to 53%, from 60%.

Full-time employee participation in life insurance plans appears to have fallen slightly, to 88%, from 89%.

Access to wellness programs appears to have increased to 54%, from 35%.