State and Local Government Workforce: 2014 Trends


Summary:

Local and state governments continue their hiring trend although their workforces are still smaller since the 2008 economic downturn; recruitment and retention continue to be challenges; and pressure on benefits continues, particularly health care. (5/14)

Author(s):
Center staff
Publication date:
5/14
Filed under:
Surveys
Download publication:
Workforce_Trends_2014

This annual survey was conducted by the Center, International Public Management Association for Human Resources, and National Association of State Personnel Executives of human resource professionals. Two hundred ninety-eight (298) IPMA-HR and NASPE members took part in the survey, which was conducted in March and April 2014.

  • 66 percent of respondents reported hiring employees in the past year.
  • 55 percent reported hiring more than they did in 2012.
  • One-third reported hiring contract or temporary workers.

At the same time, the pace of retirements quickened:

  • 49 percent reported higher levels of retirement in 2013 than 2012.
  • 22 percent reported employees had accelerated their retirement.

Changes to benefits continue:

  • 61 percent reported their government made changes to health benefits for both active and retired employees.
  • The most common changes were to shift more costs from the employer to employees (53 percent) and to institute wellness programs (31 percent).
  • 35 percent reported their government altered retirement benefits over the last year.
  • About one-fourth required increased contributions to pensions from both current and new employees.

Looking ahead, the majority of respondents say their top concerns are:

  • recruiting and retaining qualified personnel
  • staff development
  • succession planning
  • employee morale
  • competitive compensation packages
  • public perception of government workers
  • reducing employee health care costs
  • dealing with increased employee workloads