With some governments in their fourth year of pay and hiring freezes, according to surveys by the Center for State and Local Government Excellence (SLGE), local governments are facing a wide range of work -force challenges. Their workforce is aging and many still have a pay freeze and are adjusting retirement and health care benefits, according to SLGE’s 2012 survey report: State and Local Government Workforce: 2012 Trends. At the same time, the pace of layoffs has slowed, with 28 percent reporting layoffs this year compared with 43 percent in 2009.
The top workforce issue cited by survey respondents 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.