Monday, November 23, 2009

State’s worker makeup shifts

The number of better-paid, politically appointed, fire-at-will state government employees has climbed dramatically in recent years, according to the Louisiana Department of State Civil Service.

Meanwhile, the number of lower-paid, rank-and-file, classified employees generally has been declining.

Louisiana government’s employment agency reports that the number of the state’s unclassified employees has risen by 22 percent between 2002 and 2009. The classified work force has dropped 8 percent over the same eight-year period.

Also, unclassified employees make an average of about $20,000 more annually than classified employees, the latest Civil Service numbers show.

“I’d like to know why … the dramatic shift from classified to unclassified,” said Public Affairs Research Council President Jim Brandt. “The unclassified are usually the political appointed members of the state work force.

Brandt said it is time to get behind the numbers and find out exactly where the unclassified jobs are located and how they came into being.

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