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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.

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.
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.
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.
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.
Traditionally, Hawaii residents have eagerly applied for safe government jobs but particularly difficult-to-fill jobs now have vacancy rates of 40 percent.
The polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, are a group of chemicals that help make firefighting gear so protective. But they also produce an increased risk of exposure to carcinogens.
Silicon Valley ended 2023 with more than one-fourth of the region’s office spaces empty, a record high. San Francisco ended the year with its own all-time record: 36.7 percent vacant.
The new rules will require employers to develop plans for medical attention and take action at certain levels of air quality. The change comes after two years of temporary protections.
Idaho ranked last in the country for physicians per capita before the pandemic and the doctor shortages and an aging workforce have only worsened the situation.
In the last decade, the state’s retention rate of physicians post-residency has declined. The Legislature hopes that funding 700 additional slots for medical school graduates, at $100,000 each, will incentivize the doctors to stay.
With boosts in private capital and federal initiatives, the tech and digital services industry is expanding into a variety of cities across the nation. As growth continues, ancillary industries are also expected to develop.
Nationally, more than a quarter of paramedics leave their jobs every year. Calls for ambulance services in Santa Clara County, Calif., have increased by 25 percent over the past three years.
State officials are worried that under-resourced, low-income young adults may be left behind if not given the proper access and training needed to fill thousands of existing and anticipated jobs.
Wait times to speak to customer service representatives have risen to an average of more than 52 minutes, and as many as 1,500 people are experiencing delays due to the identity verification process.
Proposed legislation that has garnered support from a public employees union would provide greater protection to state workers who file complaints of bullying, which is mostly not illegal in the state.
Fifty million Americans are living in poverty or near it. A new grant program will help nonprofits address inequities and promote upward mobility.
A proposed law would require successful bidders for county construction work valued at $1 million or more to meet the standards of a New York State Apprenticeship program in an effort to retain trade students.
On-the-job training can serve as one way for states and localities to meet ongoing public- and private-sector labor shortages.
High-profile departures of senior-level executives reflect not only an aging workforce and a more politicized operating environment but also salaries and benefits that need to be competitive with the private sector’s.
An audit of the county’s new system found lax oversight of raises and more than $3 million in overpayments to employees, which could take decades to fully reimburse.
Several teachers have raised questions about the effectiveness of the strike. The longtime chair of the Portland Association of Teachers’ bargaining team resigned amid the fallout.