Report: City Workforce Will Continue To Shrink In 2013

"I have a job. Hooray, me!" (Source: Vicky TGAW/Flickr)

New York City government jobs will decrease by 1,697 this year according to the city’s Independent Budget Office, bringing the total number of city jobs to 294,961 by June 30, 2013. Thanks in part to layoffs, retirements, and resignations, the number of city jobs continues to decrease since 2008 – when the number was over 311,000.

City jobs range from police, firefighters and teachers to low-level paper-pushers in obscure city agencies.

It is difficult to determine the exact number of worker reduction because the records are kept in separate databases, but it is estimated that 2,031 city employees from the main database were laid off between fiscal year 2009 and May 2012, mostly Department of Education employees. The Administration for Children’s Services accounted for the second biggest employment decrease in that time period, with 598.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s budget proposal for 2013 projected much fewer layoffs than his 2012 proposal, in which he planned to terminate 4,300 teachers and not replace 1,900 other teachers who were expected to leave the school system. After much debate, the plan was averted after negotiations with the City Council.

The slowed rate of the city’s shrinking public workforce follows a national trend, highlighted in an April survey by the Center for State & Local Government Excellence. It found that 28 percent of surveyed governments said they had shrunk their workforce this year, compared with 40 percent the year before. On another positive note, it is believed that many of these layoffs are due more to staffing needs than to fiscal needs.

Among the jobs being cut this year, the Department of Transportation will shrink as the city transitions from single-space parking meters to Muni-Meters.


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