In spring and summer 2022, more than two years since the declaration of the COVID-19 public health emergency, state and local governments across the country find themselves in one of the most challenging workforce development environments they have faced in the last 50 years. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Current Employment Statistics survey, as of April 2022, the sector remained approximately 700,000 positions down from its all-time peak in February 2020, with reductions across most of the major public sector industries—education, general administration, utilities, and transportation. This continued decrease is the result of a range of factors including in-person staff reductions implemented during the early stages of the pandemic; constrained compensation structures; medium- and longer-term budgetary concerns; heightened competition for skilled employees among the public, private, and nonprofit sectors; and unprecedented levels of job openings and turnover.
- Publication date: August 2022
- Author: Joshua Franzel