This article argues that the relatively new field of personnel economics (PE) holds strong potential as a tool for studying public sector workforces. This subfield of labor economics is based on a strong foundation of microeconomics, which provides a robust theoretical foundation for studying workforce and organizational design issues. PE has evolved on this foundation to a strong practical emphasis, with theoretical insights designed for practical use and with strong focus on empirical research. The field is also characterized by creative data entrepreneurship. The types of datasets that personnel economists use are described. If similar datasets can be obtained for public sector workforces, PE should be a very useful approach for studying them.