National Trend: Local Governments Paring Payrolls

The Wall Street Journal reports on local governments across the country reducing workforce, driven by weak economic climates and state budget cutting. From the article:

State and local governments, aiming to reduce their budget deficits, cut jobs at an accelerating pace in February.

Even as private employment climbed for the 12th consecutive month in February, states and localities shed a combined 30,000 jobs after cutting 8,000 positions a month earlier, the Labor Department said Friday. The trend is likely to continue as states and cities keep trimming services and payrolls to mend their budget shortfalls.

Read the full article here.

This trend was confirmed in a study released this month by the National Association of Counties (NACO)- entitled, “The Recession Continues: An Economic Status Survey of Counties”.  Despite revenue shortfalls, counties all over the nation are opting to cut personnel costs and local budgets over raising sales or property taxes.  According to an article published in the blog for  Governing Magazine.

Of the 500 counties NACO surveyed, the results indicated that counties are largely addressing revenue shortfalls by trying to reduce personnel costs. More than half the counties have instituted furloughs. Salary freezes, hiring freezes and restrictions on employee travel are also common. Fifty-three percent of respondents have fewer staff today than they did in the 2010 fiscal year.

NACO Survey of County’s Economic Status-March 2011

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties

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