Jobs

States Cutting the Most Government Jobs

1. Alabama
> One-yr. change in state govt. jobs: -9.33%
> One-yr. change in local govt. jobs: -1.19%
> Budget shortfall FY 2012: $1.2 billion
> FY 2012 shortfall as a pct. of budget: 15.9%

Between June 2011 and June 2012, Alabama netted a loss of 9,900 state government jobs, or 9.3% of the state’s government workforce — the highest percentage of any state. The state also planned to reduce job benefits for many of those still employed. These labor expenses reductions were part of Alabama’s broader strategy to address its budget shortfall. The plan also included across-the-board cuts to numerous state programs for a total of $1.2 billion for the fiscal year 2012. Meanwhile, corporate income tax receipts were estimated to have reached some $417 million, a 43.23% increase from the 2011 fiscal year.

2. California
> One-yr. change in state govt. jobs: -0.14%
> One-yr. change in local govt. jobs: -1.71%
> Budget shortfall FY 2012: $23.9 billion
> FY 2012 shortfall as a pct. of budget: 27.8%

Between June 2011 and 2012, California added roughly 275,600 jobs, a 2% increase in general workers, as the state unemployment rate fell from 11.9% to 10.7%. Excluded from this job recovery was local government, which saw a net decline of about 29,200 jobs. In fiscal year 2012, California faced the nation’s largest total budget shortfall of $23.9 billion. This deficit was more than twice as large as that of any other single state. Though the state used a large number of methods to reduce this deficit, including salary reductions and cuts to local aid, California is projected to face a budget gap of $15 billion in fiscal 2013. There may still be some room to make job cuts: despite planning for layoffs and salary cuts in fiscal 2012, there were only 700 fewer state government employees compared to a year prior.

3. Connecticut
> One-yr. change in state govt. jobs: -0.95%
> One-yr. change in local govt. jobs: -1.68%
> Budget shortfall FY 2012: $3.2 billion
> FY 2012 shortfall as a pct. of budget: 17.1%

Connecticut only added some 9,200 jobs overall between June 2011 and 2012, raising the number of jobs in the state by just 0.6%, less than 40 other states. However, the state’s government had to tackle a budget shortfall of $3.2 billion for fiscal 2012, or 17.1% of the budget — the nation’s 12th-largest percentage shortfall. Given poor job growth, from June 2011 to June 2012, Connecticut’s state government eliminated approximately 600 jobs, while localities cut 2,600 positions. Connecticut also opted to reorganize state agencies and reduce employee benefits to meet budget requirements.

4. Florida
> One-yr. change in state govt. jobs: -3.16%
> One-yr. change in local govt. jobs: 0.06%
> Budget shortfall FY 2012: $3.7 billion
> FY 2012 shortfall as a pct. of budget: 15.8%

Florida’s unemployment rate fell by 2.1 percentage points, from 10.7% in June 2011 to 8.6% the next year — one of the largest improvements nationwide. As with other states on this list, however, the labor market did not improve for Florida’s government employees. To help eliminate a $3.7 billion shortfall when drafting its fiscal 2012 budget, Florida planned to lay off state workers, cut state employee benefits, reorganize agencies and privatize certain operations. From June 2011 to June 2012, the state eliminated roughly 6,600 state jobs, a 3.16% drop — the third-largest percentage decrease in state government employees nationwide.

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5. Maryland
> One-yr. change in state govt. jobs: -2.72%
> One-yr. change in local govt. jobs: 1.51%
> Budget shortfall FY 2012: $1.4 billion
> FY 2012 shortfall as a pct. of budget: 9.5%

The total number of workers in Maryland rose in June just 1% compared to the preceding year. However, there was no such increase in state government employees, as the state cut about 2,900 jobs, or 2.72% of state workers. Those who kept their jobs potentially faced planned salary reductions and benefit cuts. The state did this even though its budget shortfall was only 9.5% of its fiscal year 2012 budget, smaller than more than half of the states that faced shortfalls. While Maryland’s sales tax receipts rose by nearly 10% in 2012 from fiscal year 2011 — a larger increase than more than all but two other states — the state again faces an expected total budget shortfall of 7% its 2013 fiscal year budget. Despite these cuts at the state level, Maryland has added 3,800 local government employees over the year ending in June 2012.

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