The Personnel Craze Sweeping the Nation: Furlough-a-Go-Go!

It’s not just California and Hawaii that have turned to employee furloughs as a means of reducing budget deficits – 22 other states are using them as a means to reduce payroll costs.

Geographically, the states span the nation, from Maine to Oregon and Wisconsin to New Mexico.

A recent article in The Pew Center on the States’ ongoing “Focus on Performance” series, a collaborative project with Stateline.org, shows how other states use furloughs.

California, for instance, furloughs state employees three days each month. Court employees are furloughed the third Wednesday of each month for 10 months. New Mexico’s governor wants 20,000 state employees to take five furlough days to save an estimated $11 million.

Michigan required all 27,400 of its state employees to take six furlough days before October 1. In Nevada, teachers at public schools and universities took a 4 percent cut rather than be furloughed. State workers are furloughed one day each month.

Oklahoma’s Department of Corrections is furloughing 4,600 employees from 10 to 12 days. Savings; $1.2 million.

In Alabama, the Legislature blocked the state from furloughing workers up to 24 days each year.

Georgia’s Supreme Court is furloughing its justices and staff for three days before the end of 2009.Colorado

 Although exempting public safety, park and state hospital employees, Colorado is furloughing 15,500 state workers four days over the next few months. The governor wants to double the amount of furlough days next year.

Connecticut is furloughing 50,000 employees for seven days over two years. Delaware is furloughing 31,500 employees for five days in 2010.

Similar to the proposal Hawaii’s governor made to the state’s teachers union, Georgia is furloughing 128,000 teachers by not paying them for planning days.

In Wisconsin, it’s eight days over two years. In Massachusetts, civil service managers took five furlough days this year and the governor wants them to take up to another nine.

Oregon’s state workers will be furloughed 10 to 14 days over the next two years. The state’s university employees, eight to 16 days over the same period.

Ohio’s state workers signed a contract including 10 furlough days.  Maine is ordering “non-essential” state personnel to be furloughed for 20 days over two years.

The report also catalogues lay-offs. California, it says, aid off 17,500 state workers prior to July 2009. Hawaii plans to lay off 1,100. Washington is cutting 7,000 job slots.

Missouri laid off 700 state workers. New Hampshire, 200.








Filed under: Budget and Economy


  1. I been furloughed for over 20 years and other than a little rotting my legacy lives on. What’s the compliant, for the good of the economy 15% from the state hacks is nothing. Now if we can take the revolt to the feds,maybe we can save this country.

    Comment by Howard jarvis — 12.02.2009 @ 9:16 pm

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