State and Local Government Workforce: 2017 Trends

October 31, 2017

Center for State & Local Government Excellence

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This report reflects the survey responses of members of the International Public Management Association for Human Resources ( and National Association of State Personnel Executives ( The online survey was conducted from March 31 to April 29, 2017 by the Center for State and Local Government Excellence ( with 283 members submitting responses.

Key findings from the annual survey were:
  • 74 percent reported hiring staff
  • 47 percent hired contract or temporary employees
  • 38 percent shifted more health care costs to employees
  • 24 percent established wellness programs.
Every year since 2010, a majority of respondents to the annual survey has reported making changes to health insurance benefits. On the other hand, the pace of changes to retirement plans has slowed in recent years. In 2012, 24 percent reported increasing current employee contributions to retirement plans compared with 9 percent increasing current employee contributions in 2016.Positions hardest to fill in 2016 were:
  • Police officers (21 percent)
  • Information technology (17 percent)
  • Engineers (14 percent) and
  • Health care (13 percent)
Skills in greatest demand were in interpersonal relations (65 percent), written communications (53 percent), and technology (51 percent).

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