State and Local Government Workforce: 2015 Trends


For the second year in a row, state and local governments are reporting an increase in hiring, but pressure on benefits continues, with employees taking on greater shares of health care costs and contributions to pensions (6/15)

Center Staff
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This annual survey was conducted by SLGE, the International Public Management Association for Human Resources, and National Association of State Personnel Executives. Three hundred thirty-six (336)  who are IPMA-HR and NASPE member human resource professionals took part in the survey, which was conducted in March and April 2015.

  • 73 percent of respondents reported hiring employees in the past year.
  • 54 percent reported hiring more than they did in 2012.
  • 42 percent reported hiring contract or temporary workers.

At the same time, the pace of retirements quickened:

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

Changes to benefits continue:

  • 53 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 (43 percent) and to institute wellness programs (24 percent).
  • 29 percent reported their government altered retirement benefits over the last year.
  • One-fifth 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
  • succession planning
  • staff development
  • competitive compensation packages
  • retaining staff needed for core services
  • employee morale
  • employee engagement