Government's Core Staffing Problem: Inflexible Pay Systems

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Government's Core Staffing Problem: Inflexible Pay Systems

A recent National Association of State Chief Administrators report concludes that "as the public and private sectors battle for talent, government is falling too far behind in preparing for the workforce of the future." One statistic from the NASCA report suggests that the public sector is already well along the way to losing that battle: Since 2013, job applications submitted to state agencies have declined by 24 percent.

The aging government workforce makes the challenge particularly acute for government. According to the most recent data, 30.9 percent of the public-sector workforce (excluding law enforcement and other public-safety occupations) is age 55 or older, compared to 23.1 percent in the private-sector workforce.

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