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CT has lost nearly 6,000 state jobs since 2018, nearly all of them part-time

The number of employees in state government has decreased over the last three years, as the pay rate has gone up. And the gains might be better for part-time employees. The ones who were able to keep their jobs, anyway.

According to the US Census Bureau’s Annual Survey of Public Employment & Payroll statistics, Connecticut lost over 6,000 workers in state positions between 2018 and 2021. The vast majority of those losses (more than 5,000 of them) came from part-time positions. Part-time employment in state government decreased 22% in those three years, while full-time employment saw an almost negligible effect, losing less than half a percent.

During the same time, the state’s total payroll expenses climbed 3%, or just over $11 million. The data provided by the Census Bureau does show that full-time workers saw about a 4% pay bump during that time (which, if you assume 2% inflation per year does not cover that increase), but those numbers do not account for individual circumstances. 

Payroll expenses for part-time workers, meanwhile, dropped just 4%, despite that 22% decrease in the number of workers. This implies that part-time employees actually saw a larger average pay increase from 2018 to 2021 than their full-time counterparts.

These numbers cross all state employment sectors, but some were hit harder than others. For example, Solid Waste Management and Housing and Community Development saw the largest loss to their full-time staff, which dropped 16% and 11% respectively. Parks & Recreation and the Social Insurance Administration saw the largest gains in full-time staff (57% and 29%). Despite those gains, though, the Parks & Recreation Department lost 43% of their part-time staff members, making for a 25% overall loss of employees and a 10% reduction in their total payroll, the largest such reduction across the board.

As for which sectors saw the largest increase in their payroll? In terms of percentages, those come from the Social Insurance Administration, which increased its total payroll expenditures by 39% over three years, and the Natural Resources Department, which saw an increase of 21%. 

In whole dollar increases, though, it’s a slightly different story. Those two departments account for less than $2 million in additional spending by the state and less than $10 million of the nearly $400 million total payroll budget. The largest expenditure comes from state higher education at $126 million in 2021 (up 4% from 2018).

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Tricia Ennis

An Emmy and AP award-winning journalist, Tricia has spent more than a decade working in digital and broadcast media. She has covered everything from government corruption to science and space to entertainment and is always looking for new and interesting stories to tell. She believes in the power of journalism to affect change and to change minds and wants to hear from you about the stories you think about being overlooked.

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