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Workforce

State and local governments face a tight labor market and a competitive disadvantage with the private sector. But salaries aren’t the only issue, with cities, counties and states all grappling with training, retention, remote work and increased union activity.

Manufacturing companies are frequently turning to robotics in response to labor shortages, increased strike risks and the need for flexibility with the transition to electric vehicles.
The City Council unanimously approved a three-year, $815,000 contract with RollKall Technologies. The move comes in direct response to a 2018 audit that criticized the agency’s lack of oversight.
By 2030, an estimated 12 percent of people ages 75 and older will be working, more than doubling from 2000, due to longer lifespans and rising costs of living. In Florida, soaring insurance rates add to financial pressures.
In February, the state reached an unemployment rate of 5.3 percent, the highest in the country. Since 1976, California has created more jobs than any other state (9.7 million), accounting for 13 percent of all U.S. hires.
Total hired farm labor in the state dropped 23 percent from 2017 to 2022, more than twice the national rate of decline. Migrant farm labor fell even more.
The program has cost taxpayers at least $26 million so far, with more than 90 percent of those funds going to administrative and consulting costs. About 3,500 people have signed up since July.
The California state Supreme Court ruled that employers across the state must pay their workers for the time they spend driving to the gates and being searched, as well as when they are required to stay on campus during lunch.
The site is expected to generate approximately 1,000 construction jobs immediately and 1,400 jobs once the center is finished. The center will be Google’s first in Missouri.
Pay and benefits are important, but a better-trained, more professional workforce is crucial as well. State child-care administrators and agencies are key to making it happen.
Miami-Dade introduced a first-of-its-kind policy that would require employers to provide water, rest and shade to outdoor workers on hot days. The Legislature quickly sought to pre-empt such rules.
Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposed budget for 2024-2025 does not include any funding for the state’s Telework Compliance Office, which oversaw the rollout of telework during the pandemic and maintains telework data.
A handful of incoming mega-projects, such as a $15B Micron expansion and a new Meta data center, could squeeze the state’s tradesmen and hinder other developments across the state.
Two years ago, vacancy rates at the Santa Fe Regional Emergency Communications Center climbed to more than 65 percent. Since then, the number of unfilled positions has declined, though gaps remain.
A group backing a potential ballot question that would classify app-based drivers as independent contractors rather than employees has raised more than $6.8 million last year exclusively from non-resident companies.
A number of red states are moving to weaken child labor laws. Sponsors say they just want kids to be able to work, but critics complain companies are already exploiting vulnerable populations.
The state Employment Department’s new computer system, Frances Online, will replace the one that had been in place since the 1990s. But old technology is not the only thing the department needs to fix.
The pandemic has made the shortage worse for both permanent residents and the workforce. Some towns are beginning to find solutions.
An anti-union bill that passed last year requires most public-sector unions to increase the rate of members paying dues or be disbanded. Some unions, including police, firefighters and correctional officers, are exempt from the new law.
Just not many that pay much.
The legislative attempt to mandate worker heat protection standards would help train employers and employees on the signs of heat illness and would require supervisors to provide water and a 10-minute break every two hours.
The state’s computer chip industry cut nearly 2,000 jobs last year, after hitting its highest point in more than two decades at the end of 2022 with 35,100 jobs.
Companies are still trying to get their workers back into offices across the nation, while the percentage of San Antonians working from home continues to decline. By comparison, more than twice the share of workers are still remote in Austin.
Tech entrepreneurs make the case that government and big tech will both benefit by sharing a focus on the public good.
On the heels of a recent report from the state’s AI Task Force, Gov. Kevin Stitt is advocating for the removal of human workforce redundancies in favor of artificial intelligence systems.
A pilot program would provide $3,000 to people leaving Colorado prisons for basic living expenses if they agree to participate in a workforce development program. The proposal faces an uphill battle in the Legislature.
Almost half of working Americans are underpaid. Wage standards for companies that receive government funding could help change this.
Since Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore’s surprise announcement that he will step down in late February, the department has been looking to fill the position. The search has revealed that few women have the requisite experience to fill it.
To house everyone who needs shelter, the nation will need an estimated 7 million more homes built across the nation. But, as of the end of November, there were 459,000 job openings in construction, the highest since 2000.
Providing guaranteed cash with no spending restrictions is massively expensive, and the public doesn’t support the idea. Policymakers should focus on reforms that maximize labor-force participation and make work more worthwhile.
Gov. Laura Kelly has proposed a new minimum wage, bringing 969 employees in the executive branch up to $15 hourly pay and giving all state workers an additional 5 percent raise. The minimum for non-state workers’ pay would remain at $7.25 an hour.
Better pay for legislators is on the table in several states. It’s a sticky subject, even when their work is compensated below the minimum wage.