Reality Check: Minn. Budget Bill’s State Workforce Cuts

ST. PAUL (WCCO) — Minnesota’s laid off state workers are back on the job after the governor and legislature reached a budget deal, but they face more cuts with the compromise to end the 20-day shutdown.

Earlier this year, Republicans tried, as part of their sweeping government reform and innovation package, to ratchet down the size of Minnesota’s public employee work force with a 15 percent across the board cut in the state workforce by 2015.

That would have meant 4,800 workers laid off, and many — if not most — through layoffs.

The compromise bill passed by the Minnesota Legislature this week to end the shutdown cuts a smaller part of the workforce: 6 percent by 2013. That means 772 workers’ jobs eliminated, mostly through retirement and attrition.

The head of the state’s largest public workers union says the focus on public workers is unnecessary because, in part, Minnesota’s workforce is relatively small compared to other states.

“We have the 10th leanest workforce in the nation,” said Eliot Seide, the head of AFSCME. “We produce the best public services in the nation. Minnesotans are going to be happy to see our people back to work serving them again.”

This is TRUE.

The US Census ranks Minnesota’s public workforce, per capita, as one of the smaller workforces in the country. It ranks 40th in the nation — roughly tied with Florida.

  • Jake

    Who wrote this rubbish? What you don’t say is how big our COUNTY government workforces are, and they are HUGE. I don’t really believe that very many will be losing their jobs. Dayton and the unions will simply shift some workers from one department to another, and call it a ‘job loss’. With an increase of over 3 Billion dollars over the prior budget, I really don’t see it happening at all.

  • John saint paul

    The problem we have in this state is there is to many chiefs making 6 digits and the all the representatives that got paid for the shut down and all the perks they get for only working 1 term, most people including the state employees have to work 20 years to get a good retirement package so why should they be any different. if we cut all the secret service to all ex presidents and their wives and children, we would save a bundle and giving them a office after they leave office. they are no threat to anyone they are only ex presidents and Governors. who fricken cares what they do after they leave office , get a job like the rest of us. NOW THAT WOULD SAVE A LOT OF MONEY TO THE TAX PAYERS.

  • CheckYourFacts

    False, false, false. You are looking at permanent union headcount workforce. Add in non-union and contractors, who are hired to do the work because state workers are lazy, and MN ranks 48 out of 50. How bad of a reporting job did the ‘cco reject staff do? Additionally I would wager that 9 of 10 people in MN would argue that MN produce the “best public service in the nation.” On top of that, even being #1, still would rank pubic SERVICES below 90% of private sector services. There are too many state workers, they are paid too much and they are too lazy!

    • mark g

      It is not the workers. It is the president of the collages and the Cheslers that get to much pay.


    Statistics came out today that said of the 13,000 jobs that were made last month, a good share of them were government jobs. Government is getting bigger and bigger each and every month.

    • Ted

      “…a good share of them were government jobs.” Oh my gawd! We need to do something now about this everyone!!!!

      TRUTH IS, more than 13,200 Minnesota jobs were gained in June according to the Department of Employment and Economic Development. 11,500 in private sector and 1,700 government.

      Calm down.

  • Jake

    Ya, RIGHT, I’ll believe when I see all of those workers photographed standing in an unemployment line. I’m not holding my breath.

  • Sam

    “The head of the state’s largest public workers union says the focus on public workers is unnecessary because, in part, Minnesota’s workforce is relatively small compared to other states.”

    Irrelevant drivel.. You hire only the people you need and no more. What other states do is their business.

  • Norge

    The tenth leanest workforce, ranks 40th tied with Florida..which means Florida is doing much better with its ‘Pub gov and House and Senate…because it has …what 3x the populaion of MN yet operates with the same size workforce!! We don’t need to trim AFSCME we need to slash and burn!! Then outlaw public-workers unions and be able to hire more and better workers who will do the job as they will know they can now be fired. Ablosh AFSCME!

  • Tom

    15% of 32000 is 4800.
    6% of 32000 is 1920.
    772 of 32000 is 2.4%.
    Which is correct, the number or the percent?

    • middle of the road

      Tom, Quit trying to confuse the liberal, I mean reporter with facts. Damn you and your facts. Did you just make those up or did you get them off of a republican blog or fax TV? ha ha ha

  • worryfree

    Norge do you understand what “per capita” means?
    When the government trys to hire an engineer or another professional it’s very hard to complete with the much higher salaries in the private sector.

  • blklab

    So PRIVATE contractors, you know those outsourced jobs every one wants are now considered lazy because they work for the State. Boy, you teapartiers are crazy.

  • leslie zastre

    how come the senators are here and not in Washingtion?

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