The State Worker

Jerry Brown’s budget projects slight growth in California state workforce

California’s state workforce will grow oh-so-slightly in the coming fiscal year, according to projections in the 2014-15 budget released by Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday, while total salary costs will grow an estimated 1.5 percent.

The bureaucracy will gain about 1,600 positions in addition to the current 354,000 jobs in California’s state government, university systems and Legislature – a growth rate of less than one-half of 1 percent and still well below the nearly 372,000 workers the state employed in 2010-11.

Wages for the workforce will increase roughly $384 million to $26.6 billion in the coming year. A sizable portion, $173.1 million, would cover general salary increases of up to 2 percent for most state employees on July 1. State Finance Director Michael Cohen will have the final word in May on whether the state can afford the raises or defers and combines them with another raise scheduled for the 2015-16 fiscal year.

Brown’s budget plan anticipates about half of the new positions will go to the Transportation Agency, while the Environmental Protection Agency would gain 481. Other agencies that would grow by 100 or more jobs include Natural Resources (218); General Government (166); Business Consumer Services and Housing (146) and Government Operations (125).

Although Brown envisions a slightly larger government next year, it won’t keep pace with California’s anticipated population growth. His budget proposal figures the ratio of 9.2 state workers for every 1,000 state residents, down from 9.3 employees per 1,000 Californians in the current fiscal year.

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