Workforce Survey: 2018 Results and 10 Year Trends

New SLGE research finds that state and local governments report that they continue to face steep challenges filling a wide array of positions. Policing, engineering, information technology, emergency dispatch and skilled trades top the list of positions hardest to fill. It also finds that public employers are turning to “gig economy” workers to fill key positions.

Among the top workforce priorities, 82 percent report staff recruitment and retention, with employee morale close behind at 80 percent. In 2012, those concerns were cited by 39 and 67 percent, respectively. Other priority issues include compensation packages (80 percent) and employee engagement (79 percent). Simultaneously, the research also finds that retirements are increasing. Some 44 percent of respondents report that retirements in the most recently completed year were higher than the year before, and the share that indicate retirement-eligible employees are postponing retirement has fallen to less than half what it was in 2009 (from 44 to 21 percent).

These findings are contained in a new research report from SLGE: State and Local Government Workforce: 2018 Data and 10 Year Trends. The survey was conducted in cooperation with the International Public Management Association for Human Resources (IPMA-HR) and the National Association of State Personnel Executives (NASPE).

SLGE will hold a webinar on Wednesday, June 13, 2018 at 1 PM ET to review the findings and respond to questions.


Retirement Cuts Impact Public Sector Competitiveness

One of the questions that arises from the workforce research is why government agencies are having trouble filling certain positions. One factor is the low unemployment rate, but another may be the long-term impact of retirement plan cuts or other changes on their competitiveness with private sector employers.

Recent research focused on those jurisdictions that had made recent pension cuts. It found that for new employees hired, their prior private sector wages were 2.9 percent lower – indicating that the more qualified or higher paid staff were electing to go elsewhere. Download the full report, or listen to a related podcast with representatives from SLGE and the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.


Innovative Staff Sharing Arrangements

Building on the recent report released by SLGE and the Center for Sharing Public Health Services, ‘Staff Sharing Arrangements for Local Public Health,’ the SLGE research team is currently identifying other cross-jurisdictional staff sharing arrangements for analysis. Should your government have such an arrangement in place, or should you know of an interesting model, please let us know via [email protected].


SLGE in the News 

Research by SLGE has been cited by the Washington PostGoverningChief Investment OfficerAARP/NRTA, and JobsPortalWatch. Be sure to check for access to the latest data and reports on retirement and financial security, workforce, health care/wellness and compensation issues.  Also be sure to check out our updated privacy policy.