State and Local Government Workforce: 2012 Trends

Source: Center for State and Local Government Excellence, April 2012

From the press release:
A new survey by the Center for State and Local Government Excellence finds that more than half of state and local governments still have a pay freeze and are adjusting retirement and health care benefits. At the same time, the pace of layoffs has slowed with 28 percent reporting layoffs this year compared with 40 percent last year.

State and Local Government Workforce: 2012 Trends is a follow-up to three previous studies that have looked at questions related to the size of the workforce, compensation and benefits, and employees’ plans for retirement.

The top workforce issue cited in 2012 is the public perception of government workers. Issues that continue to rank as most important are retaining staff for core services, addressing employee morale and workload problems, staff development, and reducing employee health care costs.

Workforce changes include:
– Employees accelerating their plans for retirement (22 percent)
– Workforce has shrunk since the 2008 economic downturn (68 percent)
– Pay freezes (51 percent)
– Hiring freezes (42 percent)
– Layoffs (28 percent)

In the area of health care:
– Shifted more health care costs to employees (51 percent, down from 72 percent last year)
– Shifted more health care costs to retirees (11 percent, down from 23 percent)
– Created wellness programs (26 percent, down from 33 percent)

In the area of pensions:
– Raised employee contributions to pension plans for current workers (24 percent, up from 22 percent last year)
– Increased employee contributions for new hires (27 percent, up from 23 percent last year)
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