Government Employees: An Unimpressive Right-Sizing

According to the Center for State and Local Government Excellence, for the second year in row, “state and local governments are hiring.” The organization’s survey of HR managers found that 73 percent reported new hires in the past year, with 54 percent adding more employees than they did in 2013.

In an interview with the Pew Research Center’s website Stateline, Brian Sigritz of the National Association of State Budget Officers lamented that while employment is on the rise, he was “not expecting a surge in hiring. It’s definitely not back to where it was, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it never got back.”

In New Mexico, returning to “where it was” won’t be difficult. State employment peaked, not surprisingly, during Bill Richardson’s administration. The Great Recession imposed layoffs that reduce the workforce, from 2007 to 2012, by 13.5 percent. It stood at 45,250 in 2013, up just a bit from 2012.


At the local level, employment peaked at 81,798 in 2009. It fell to 78,559 — a drop of 4.0 percent — in 2012, and rose by a few hundred in 2013.


Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Note: Figures are for full-time equivalent positions