Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Some states turning to furloughs during tough economic times

A growing number of states have turned to squeezing their workforce for savings in light of a $121 billion shortfall in the next fiscal year,

Although state jobs are usually among the most stable, more than 728,500 state employees in at least 21 states have already or will be furloughed, and several other states are also considering furloughs for their workers.

The furloughs translate to pay cuts for workers, ranging from 0.5 percent in North Carolina to 13.8 percent in Hawaii. Employees whose jobs are deemed essential to public health and safety, such as police officers and veterans’ homes employees, aren’t furloughed.

By comparison, at least 54,000 state workers have been laid off so far, according to tallies by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

“People were saying, ‘well if things are so bad, why aren’t people getting laid off?’ The answer to that is that in a lot of places, they’re choosing furloughs,” said AFSCME’s Kerri Korpi

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