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|
|Net Jobs Lost||184||Layoffs||255|
|Percent Lost||3.6%||Percent Layoffs||0.3%|