Putting Rendell’s Layoffs in Perspective

Yesterday, Gov. Rendell announced layoffs for 255 state workers at a press conference, and said more might be coming if lawmakers don’t pass a budget to Rendell’s liking.

But let’s put those layoffs in perspective:

1) Pennsylvania currently has over 5,000 vacant positions.  While some of those may not be funded in the coming year, there are a lot of potential openings, and state employees generally have a history of moving between departments.

2) Auditor General Jack Wagner proposed using early retirement incentives (and no replace the retirees/only hire within) – suggesting this would reduce the state payroll by 2,000 to 3,000.

3) The 255 jobs represent less than one-half of one percent of the state payroll.  Contrast that to the private sector, where Pennsylvania has lost 184,000 net jobs over the past year, or 3.6%.  In other words, if you work in the private sector, you are at least 12 times more likely to lose your job than working for the state.

Private Sector Jobs (x1000) State Payroll
Jul-08 5,111 Positions 83,508
Jul-09 4,928 Filled Positions 78,295
Net Jobs Lost 184 Layoffs 255
Percent Lost 3.6% Percent Layoffs 0.3%