State and Local Government Workforce: 2014 Trends

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This annual SLGE survey of human resource officials tracks state and local government trends in a wide range of workforce-related areas including hiring, retirement, and changes to retirement and health benefits, among others.

In 2014, state and local governments continued their hiring trend, although their workforces remained smaller since the 2008 economic downturn. Recruitment and retention also remained challenges, and pressure on benefits continued, particularly health care benefits. Key findings from this year’s survey include:

  • 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 than in 2012, and 22 percent reported employees had accelerated their retirement.
  • 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.
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