A report released by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli on December 14 indicates a significant decline in the number of full-time local government workers outside New York City since 2007.
The workforce has decreased by 7.9%, from 491,102 to 452,298 over the past 15 years, contrasting with a 2% increase in local government employment nationwide. DiNapoli attributed this decline primarily to the impacts of the Great Recession and the COVID-19 pandemic, emphasizing the challenges local officials face in maintaining essential services amidst fluctuating staffing levels.
The report highlights several key findings regarding the state’s local government workforce. Upstate regions employed more local workers than downstate areas in 2022, with school districts being the largest employer. Despite the infusion of federal pandemic relief aid and a rebound in sales tax collections, overall employment levels remain below those of 2009.
Furthermore, the average annual salary for these employees in 2022 was approximately $76,700, a slight real-term increase from 2007 after adjusting for inflation. Police protection and fire protection employees emerged as the highest earners, while public welfare employees had the lowest average salary.
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