Press Releases

Retirement Asset Decumulation Patterns Among Public Sector Workers

A new research report from MissionSquare Research Institute finds that nearly half of public sector employees are taking no action with their defined contribution plan funds once retired. Looking out ten years from general employees’ last contributions, 48% of plan participants had not taken any partial disbursements, and 72% had not taken any full disbursements. […]

Exodus of Employees is Increasing Strain on Public Sector Workforce

Workers Highlight Steps Their Employers Can Take to Help with Recruitment and Retention More than half of state and local government employees report that more people are leaving jobs at their organization since the start of the pandemic, leaving their remaining coworkers stressed, fatigued, and anxious, according to a new public sector workforce survey conducted […]

Case Studies Highlight How Five Public Sector Employers Are Improving the Financial Health of Employees

Webinar on March 3rd with Innovative Ideas to Strengthen Financial Wellness Programs As public sector workers report increased financial challenges in the wake of the ongoing pandemic, a new series of financial wellness case studies provides state and local government employers with key learnings and promising practices to help workers reduce debt, save for retirement, […]

State and Local Pension Plan Funding Levels Again Tick Upward

Robust Financial Markets and Full Employer Contributions Impacting Improved Funded Status The latest Public Plans Database (PPD) analysis from MissionSquare Research Institute indicates that the funded status of state and local pension plans nationwide has improved to 75.4% in 2021, up from 72.2% in 2020. The funded status has trended upward during a period of […]

Public Sector Benefits Can Offer a Hiring and Retention Advantage During the Great Resignation

As employers across the nation face unprecedented labor shortages, new research finds that benefits offered by state and local governments can help attract and retain workers even amidst the Great Resignation. Unlike many private sector jobs, nearly all public service workers have access to pension plans, health care benefits, and life insurance. Also, a majority […]

More than Half of State and Local Government Employees Contemplating Leaving Their Jobs Due to Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic

“We’re teetering on the brink of a public sector workforce crisis” As state and local governments face unprecedented workforce shortages, an alarming number of public sector employees say they are considering leaving their jobs. A new MissionSquare Research Institute survey finds more than half (52%) of public sector workers are inclined to leave their jobs […]

New Financial Wellness Fact Sheets Demonstrate How 24 Public Sector Employers Have Implemented Programs to Improve the Financial Health of Employees

Developed Under a New Grant Program, the Fact Sheets Offer Innovative Ideas for Employers Seeking Ways to Strengthen Workforce Financial Wellness As many public sector employees face increased financial challenges amid the pandemic and high inflation, 24 public employers are using innovative approaches to improve the financial health of their workforce and families. Released today, […]

Six Workforce Trends to Watch in 2022

As state and local governments, along with other public service organizations, emerge in 2022 from a challenging two years, they continue to gain valuable insights into how public employers can manage and support their current workforce while positioning themselves to attract new talent. Recent research by MissionSquare Research Institute (formerly the Center for State and […]

New research from MissionSquare Research Institute uncovers critical insights on diversity, equity, and inclusion across the public sector workforce

A new research report provides a comprehensive analysis of the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) landscape across the public sector workforce. The study includes historical and projected data for a wide variety of occupations, and indicates areas where certain gender, racial, or ethnic groups are statistically under- or over-represented. While employment trends vary regionally and […]

State and Local Retirement Pension Plans Funded Status Holds Steady Despite Pandemic

New Research Finds State and Local Pension Fund Investments in Alternatives Tripled Since 2005, Representing Larger Share Than Fixed Income Investments A new analysis finds that through the first quarter of 2021, state and local retirement plans have accumulated assets of $5 trillion in defined benefit (DB) pension plans and $531 billion in defined contribution […]

K-12 Public School Employees Have a Multitude of Concerns as Pandemic Lingers

National Poll Shows Anxiety About Student Learning, COVID-19 Risk, Personal Finances Ninety percent of K-12 employees are concerned about students falling behind as a result of the pandemic. At the same time, K-12 employees are working longer hours, having difficulty adjusting to changes in the nature of their jobs and are worried about protecting their […]

K-12 Workforce More Stressed and Inclined to Consider a Job Change as Compared to Other State and Local Employees

Poll indicates 90% of K-12 employees are concerned about students falling behind. See key findings and link to related infographic.

Long-Term Growth in Postsecondary Education Staffing Despite Pandemic-Related Declines

Steepest Declines in 2020 Were Among Junior Colleges, Technical, and Trade Schools College and university staffing increased by 51% between January 1999 and January 2020, with a decline of 9% in 2020 during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Other postsecondary schools also saw growth during the same timeframe, with employment increasing by 192% through […]

State and Local Workforce Morale Is Up, But Many Workers Still Consider Changing Jobs or Leaving Public Sector

New MissionSquare Research Institute National Poll Finds Increased Employee Debt and Sustained COVID-19 Worries Webinar on July 29 to Review Findings As COVID-19 vaccination rates continue to climb across the U.S., the morale of state and local government employees is also on the rise. Positive morale regarding work among this segment of the workforce increased […]

MissionSquare Research Institute Announces Expansion of Public Plans Database

The Public Plans Database now includes openly-accessible data on state and local government defined contribution and defined benefits plans that account for 95% of U.S. public pension assets and members.

70% of State and Local Government Employees Fully Vaccinated Against COVID-19

MissionSquare Research Institute National Poll Indicates Most Employers Encourage Rather than Mandate Vaccines; Protecting Personal Health is Top Reason for Vaccination As COVID-19 vaccination rates continue to increase across the U.S., new research indicates that a high number of state and local employees are vaccinated. In this segment of the workforce, 70% are fully vaccinated […]

State and Local Governments Face Acute Challenges Recruiting Workers in Health Care, Public Safety, Skilled Trades and Engineering

New Research from the Center for State and Local Government Excellence at ICMA-RC Finds Spike in Retirement Amid COVID-19 Pandemic New research assessing the state and local government workforce finds jurisdictions are facing acute challenges recruiting employees in several critical areas. Health care positions are identified as hard to fill by 60-75% of survey respondents, […]

Research Brief Examines the Public Service Workforce

A new research brief provides a comprehensive overview of the U.S. public service workforce. The analysis includes state and local governments, K-12 schools, hospitals and health care, and social assistance organizations.

K-12 Employee Job Satisfaction Plummets as Stress and Worries Increase Regarding COVID-19 Safety and Personal Finances

A nationwide poll of K-12 employees finds this segment of the state and local workforce has heightened concerns stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

State & Local Employees’ Negative Job Sentiments are Climbing

Employee Burnout/Fatigue Jumped from 27% in May to 47% in October; More Than Half Say Pandemic Has Harmed Personal Finances The COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis are taking a heavy toll on the state and local workforce. Since the early days of the pandemic, negative job sentiment is on the rise. In an October national […]

Press Briefing: Update on Public Sector Employee Views on Finances & Employment Outlook Due to COVID-19

Join us for a media pre-briefing on forthcoming research that examines public employee views on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. This new national poll finds that the pandemic and economic crisis are taking a heavy toll on the state and local workforce. The research indicates that since May, state and local workers’ negative job […]

Six Workforce Trends to Watch in 2021

As a unique and challenging 2020 concludes, there is a great deal to learn regarding what is needed to develop and manage an effective, high-quality, and diverse state and local government workforce. Recent research by the Center for State and Local Government Excellence (SLGE) reveals key challenges and opportunities facing states and localities in the […]

As COVID-19 Cases Surge Across the U.S., State and Local Employee Negative Job Sentiment is on the Rise

More Than Half Say Pandemic Has Harmed Finances and 74 Percent Worry About Impacts on Retirement Security K-12 Public School Employees Report Increased Hours and Burnout While Job Satisfaction and Morale Tumble, According to Center for State and Local Government Excellence and ICMA-RC Research A new national poll of state and local employees finds that […]

Research Examines Local Government Cross-Sector Collaborations to Address Public Health Challenges

Survey with ICMA and Case Studies in Colorado, Florida and Minnesota Focus on Affordable Housing, Healthy Community Design, and Substance Misuse As the nation continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic, a new report explores how local government agencies are collaborating to help address today’s greatest public health challenges. The report delivers detailed information and promising […]

Case Studies: Local Government Employee Financial Wellness

Twin Lakes, Wisconsin and Denver, Colorado Case Studies Provide Lessons Learned That Other Jurisdictions Can Adopt to Strengthen the Financial Wellness of State and Local Employees As many state and local employees face increased financial challenges and stress amid the coronavirus pandemic, a new report provides examples of two local jurisdictions that have successfully implemented […]

Twenty-Four U.S. State & Local Jurisdictions Awarded Employee Financial Wellness Grants

The $1.4 Million in Grants is Supported by the Wells Fargo Foundation in Collaboration with the Center for State and Local Government Excellence, the International Public Management Association for Human Resources, and the National Association of State Treasurers’ Foundation A new national initiative, funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation, has awarded a total of $1.4 […]

Amid COVID-19 Pandemic, Local Government Pension Plans Funded Ratios Hold Steady in Fiscal Year 2020

Recession Strains on Governments Could Make It Difficult for Local Governments to Make Future Required Pension Contributions A new analysis of local public pension plans indicates that despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn, local government pension plans will see virtually no change in their average funded ratio during fiscal year 2020.  Moreover, projections […]

As the School Year Begins, Nearly Three-Fourths of K-12 Educators Consider Their Jobs Risky in Terms of Potential Exposure to COVID-19

Sixty-One Percent Say the Pandemic Has Had a Negative Impact on Their Finances; 76 Percent Concerned the Crisis Will Impact Retirement Security Despite Concerns, Most Public School Employees Value Serving Their Community During This Difficult Time, According to National Polling from the Center for State and Local Government Excellence and ICMA-RC Webinar on August 26th […]

New Research Examines Local Government and Military Partnerships in Public Health

A new research guide reviews areas where local/military partnerships on public health communication, training, planning and response can better serve the needs of community residents, active duty military, dependents and civilian employees while building enduring relationships of trust and collaboration between the base leadership and city/county management. A Guide to Local Government and Military Partnerships […]

As COVID-19 Cases Rise in Many States, State and Local Government Employees Have Serious Concerns About Their Safety, Finances and Job Outlook

Despite COVID-19 Concerns, 61 Percent of Employees Value Serving Their Community During This Difficult Time As the coronavirus outbreak continues to present many challenges to state and local governments, a new national poll reveals that public employees are deeply worried about their personal safety, family finances, losing their job, furloughs, and pay and benefit reductions. […]

K-12 Workforce Survey Finds Vast Majority of Employees Satisfied With Ability to Serve Public and Job Security

Employees Report Varied Levels of Confidence Making Retirement Plan Decisions, While 73 Percent Want More Retirement Planning Information With schools facing unprecedented challenges in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Center for State and Local Government Excellence (SLGE) and ICMA-RC have released new research that assesses K-12 public school employees’ views on their job […]

New State & Local Government Financial Wellness Initiative Now Accepting Grant Proposals

A new national initiative is accepting grant proposals from state and local governments to establish or improve employee financial wellness programs. Up to 26 grants will be offered for a one-year, non-renewable initiative. The grant funding amount is based on jurisdiction workforce size, with up to $100,000 available for state and local governments with 2,500 […]

New Research Examines Impact of Market Decline on Public Pension Plans

A new analysis of state and local public pension plans indicates that these retirement plans will end fiscal year 2020 with negative annual investment returns, reduced asset values, lower funded ratios and higher actuarial costs. Additionally, the research indicates that plan finances will continue to decline in the wake of the economic downturn. These findings […]

New Research Finds Continued Increase in Telework for State & Local Government Employees, Even Prior to COVID-19

Annual Workforce Survey Indicates Engineering Positions Most Difficult to Fill, Edging out Policing New research finds a steady increase in telework among state and local government employees (27 percent), the highest share since 2016 (22 percent). This practice is more common in state agencies (64 percent) than local jurisdictions (19 percent). The increase may relate […]

SLGE Announces New Financial Wellness Initiative and Grants

Supported by the Wells Fargo Foundation, and in collaboration with the IPMA-HR and the National Association of State Treasurers’ Foundation, this initiative will provide financial resources, create tools and case studies, and facilitate conversations among state and local leaders.

New Research Shows State and Local Public Employees Concerned About Their Personal Finances

Few Offered Financial Literacy and Wellness Programs, But Most Would Participate if Offered As many state and local employees face increased financial challenges and stress amid the coronavirus pandemic, a new report finds that these public employees already were worried about their personal finances. Prior to the current global health crisis, the vast majority, 88 […]

New Research Finds the Number of Local Governments Offering Retirement Benefits Outside of Pension Plans Increased from 11% to 19% from 2001 to 2018

A new research brief documents the extent of the shift away from stand-alone defined benefit (DB) pension plans for a sample of 180 major local governments to see how it compares to the changes at the state level. In 2018, 19 percent of large localities had a defined contribution (DC), cash balance, or hybrid plan […]

Amid Coronavirus Outbreak, New Research Reveals the Makeup of the U.S. State and Local Public Health Workforce

Compared with Overall State and Local Workforce, Public Health Employees are More Diverse, Have More Education, and are Somewhat Older As the nation faces increased strains on its public health workforce from the COVID-19 outbreak, a new report examines the makeup of the U.S. public health workforce. This new primer describes the current public health […]

Public Sector Retiree Health Care via Individual Medicare Marketplaces

As many state and local governments face inadequate funding levels for retiree health care obligations, a new report offers policymakers with a guide to individual Medicare marketplaces. These marketplaces are one option for public employers and retirement systems to consider as they look to contain health care costs and create a better value for retirees. […]

Trends to Watch for 2020

As we usher in a new decade, the year 2020 will present both challenges and opportunities for state and local government employers looking to recruit, retain, and develop talented employees. Recent research by the Center for State and Local Government Excellence (SLGE) reveals key issues facing state and local government leaders in the year ahead, […]

Press Release: Innovations in the Health and Human Services Workforce

State and local governments face greater competition for talent even as the demand for specialized health and human services (HHS) jobs grows, according to a new report from the Center for State and Local Government Excellence (SLGE) and Kronos. The research includes examples of successful retention strategies and innovation, and it highlights the key drivers […]

Press Release: New SLGE Research Examines Variable Arrangements for Public Pension Plans

A new report from the Center for State and Local Government Excellence (SLGE) and AARP provides policymakers and stakeholders with an overview of the use of variable benefit and contribution arrangements in public pension plans. Under variable benefit and contribution arrangements, a pre-set formula drives occasional adjustments – increases or decreases – in retirement benefits […]

Press Release: Data Indicates Growing Need for Elementary and Middle School Teachers

With schools back in session and many states facing teacher shortages, the Center for State and Local Government Excellence (SLGE) and ICMA-RC have released a new research infographic outlining employment trends and demographics for the primary and secondary public school workforce. The infographic indicates that: Those working in kindergarten through twelfth grade (K-12) represent 45% […]

State and Local Governments Continue to Face Recruitment & Retention Challenges, Explore Flexible Work Practices & Use of Gig Economy

Webinar on August 14th at 1 PM ET to Review Findings

SLGE Research Examines Local Public Health Staff-Sharing Arrangements in New Jersey & Minnesota

SLGE examines how local health departments have implemented staff-sharing arrangements across geographic boundaries. The research provides important insight on key challenges, how the effort was implemented, financial consideration, outcomes, and lessons learned through two case studies of staff-sharing arrangements in New Jersey and Minnesota. The report also highlights two areas of focus that are critical […]

ICMA-RC and SLGE Study Examines Public Employee Attitudes Toward Retirement and Auto-Enrollment

SLGE and ICMA-RC announced results from a new survey that finds nearly half of state and local employees approve of auto-enrollment in defined contribution plans, known as Supplemental Retirement Plans (SRPs), and 77 percent would choose to stay in a plan if auto-enrolled. Few states currently offer auto-enrollment in SRPs, a retirement plan feature that is […]

New Research Shows Few Employer-Based Financial Literacy Programs Available for Local Government Workers, Despite Need

A new report provides an in-depth analysis of local government financial literacy programs across the U.S. The report finds that only about one in four local government employers offer financial literacy programs to their workforce, according to a new survey of human resources directors.

State and Local Government Trends to Watch in 2019

Recent research efforts by the Center for State and Local Government Excellence (SLGE) reveal key issues facing state and local government leaders in 2019, as well as strategies being used to manage public employee benefit programs, attract and retain a talented workforce, and provide financial security to public sector employees. The role of retirement benefit […]

New Checklist Helps Public Health Departments Evaluate Staff Sharing

Tool Comes as Local Governments Seek Innovative Ways to Recruit and Retain Employees

New Research Examines Funded Ratio of State & Local Public Pension Plans

Top Third of Public Pension Plans Have 90 Percent Funded Ratio While Bottom Third at 55 Percent