State and Local Government Workforce: 2015 Trends


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.

For the second year in a row, state and local governments reported an increase in hiring. Nonetheless, pressure on benefits continued, with employees taking on greater shares of health care costs and contributions to pensions. Key findings from this year’s survey include:

  • 73 percent of state and local governments reported hiring employees in the past year.
  • 54 percent reported hiring more than they did in 2012.
  • 42 percent hired contract or temporary employees.
  • At the same time, the pace of retirements quickened: 47 percent reported higher levels of retirement in 2013 than in 2012, and 13 percent reported employees had accelerated their retirement.
  • 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.

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