Young workers disappearing from state government workforce at rapid rate

Young workers disappearing from state government workforce at rapid rate

Young workers disappearing from state government workforce at rapid rate

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by John Egan / CultureMap

CultureMap Austin

Posted on February 10, 2014 at 11:54 AM

Updated Monday, Feb 10 at 11:54 AM

CultureMap Austin -- Thousands of young Texans who work for state government are heading for the exits. Workers 16 to 29 years old left the state government workforce at a higher rate than any other age group in the 2013 budget year, according to a new report from the Texas State Auditor’s Office. State government is one of the largest employers in Austin.

While employees under age 30 made up 15 percent of the state government workforce, they accounted for 30 percent of the people who exited state agencies during the budget year of October 2012 through September 2013. No other age group broke the 30 percent mark for employee departures from state government.

While the number is staggering, the bleeding of Millennial or Generation Y workers in state government isn’t a new phenomenon. And the problem actually isn’t quite as bad as it has been before. According to the State Auditor’s Office, here are the numbers for the loss of 16- to 29-year-old workers at state agencies — including those who quit or were fired — from 2008 through 2012:

  • 2012 — 31 percent
  • 2011 — 30 percent
  • 2010 — 33 percent
  • 2009 — 33 percent
  • 2008 — 40 percent

For each of those years, the percentage of workers 16 to 29 who bolted far exceeded that of any other age group.

Last year, nearly 8,000 workers ages 16 to 29 exited the state government workforce; state agencies employed about 23,000 people in this age group in 2013. The two top reasons cited for the departure of the youngest workers in 2013 were poor pay and benefits, and poor working conditions. “Generally, the lower an employee’s salary, the more likely the employee was to leave state employment,” the auditor’s report says.

In 2013, about one-fourth of full-time employees at state agencies earned less than $30,000 a year; the exit rate for those workers surpassed the rate for workers above that salary level. The average pay for a full-time state employee last year was $40,398.

Go to CultureMap Austin to read the full story.

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