Friday, August 8, 2008

A Number of states slashing workforce to balance budgets

At least 16 states are attacking revenue shortfalls through cost-cutting steps that include voluntary worker buyouts, layoffs, pay freezes or other measures affecting state employees, according to experts.

Arturo Perez, a fiscal expert with the National Conference of State Legislatures, said more than 30 states face revenue shortfalls of about $40 billion as a result of problems associated with the housing bubble, fuel prices and economic slowdown. States are taking a variety of measures to deal with the problem, including some aimed at state employees, he said.

In a recently released National Conference of State Legislatures report in which states were surveyed in May and June, 15 states, were taking actions affecting employees in areas ranging from layoffs to pay freezes.

Mr. Perez said at this time only four states (Tennessee, Florida, California and New Jersey) have “indicated they have targeted employee layoffs for purposes of balancing the budget.”

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