Inquiring minds just might be asking “How Much Are State Furlough Programs Helping States Balance Budgets?”

Given the angst created by the furlough programs, one would hope the furloughs programs are helping states a great deal. Sadly, that is not the case at all. Please consider Furloughs cut into state services.

States Turn To Employee Furloughs

More than 728,500 employees in at least 21 states have taken or will soon be forced to take furloughs, or unpaid days off. Some states have implemented furloughs statewide, while others allow agencies to implement them as needed.

California: 238,000 employees, $1.3 billion savings, 34 furlough days over 18 months

Colorado: $16 million savings, 4 furlough days over a year

Connecticut: 50,000 employees, $700 million savings, 7 days over two years

Hawaii: 15,000 employees, $688 million savings, 72 days over two years

Idaho: More than 5,000 employees, $11.6 million savings, 4 to 10 days over a year

Maryland: 67,000 employees, $34 million savings, 2 to 5 days over a year

Massachusetts: 5,000 employees, $4.5 million savings, 3 to 5 days over a year

Maine: 7,000 employees, $10 million savings, 20 days over two years

Michigan: 37,400 employees, $22 million savings, 6 days over a year

Nevada: $333 million savings, 12 days over a year

New Jersey: 60,000 employees, $300 million savings, 12 days over two years

North Carolina: $65 million savings, 10 hours over a year

Ohio: At least 51,000 employees, $173.2 million savings, 20 days over two years

Oklahoma: 470 employees, $1.2 million savings, 12 days over a year

South Carolina: 24,000 employees, $30 million savings, up to 10 days over a year

Wisconsin: 69,000 employees, $121 million savings, 16 days over two years

Those were the states with projected benefits. Arizona, Georgia, Iowa, Oregon, and Utah have furlough programs but have not projected benefits.

In addition, Illinois, Minnesota, New Hampshire, and Washington are considering possible furloughs.

State Totals

California: $1.3 Billion
15 Others: $2.5 Billion

Grand Total

$3.8 Billion

Putting Things Into Perspective

The California budget deficit is $26 billion now and counting. Shortfalls are rising every day as is interest on IOUs. California could fire all 200,000+ state workers on forced furloughs and still not balance its budget!

In aggregate, 728,500 employees furloughs are a drop in the bucket towards solving state budget problems. Massive programs need to be cut and pension benefits must be brought under control.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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