You might think when city officials need to cut personnel costs, they start by letting public employees go. But according to a new article from The Huffington Post, “firing people isn't the first thing they look to do: it's the third.” Ranking the reduction methods, HuffPost evaluates the eight top ways that city officials are dealing with budgetary woes—according to the National League of Cities—including:
(8) Reduce Pension Benefits
A full 18% of cities facing increasingly thin budgets cut back on pension benefits to shore up spending costs in 2011.
(7) Revise Union Contracts
Another 18% trimmed union agreements as a way to cut salaries and reduce previously bargained-for benefits.
Some 19% of cities, including some in North Carolina, reduced personnel spending by reducing work hours and pay.
(5) Early Retirements
A whopping 25% of cities forced older workers into early retirement to cut costs in the weakened economic periods of 2011.
(4) Reduce Health Care Benefits
With 30% of cities reducing health care benefits to save money, as occurred in 2011, many more city workers are picking up the tab for their own rising medical costs.
While not the number one way that cities tightened beleaguered budgets in 2011, layoffs certainly were the most devastating, with 31% of cities cutting jobs to trim overall budgets. In fact, Since 2008, local government has lost 550,000 jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
(2) Salary Cuts
Just as striking as the effects of unemployment on average Americans is underemployment: fewer hours or wages for the same work. This was especially true for half (50%) of city employees in America, as their wages were cut or frozen in order to cope with budget woes.
(1) Hiring Freeze
One of the most paralyzing parts of the American economic recovery is the lack of hiring from California to the Carolinas. Hiring freezes were employed in 68% of cities as a companion to/or simply to avoid layoffs, benefit and wage reductions, and forced retirement.
If you’re one of the hundreds of thousands of Americans working for state, city and local governments or other agencies, you may be one of the many wondering why so many so-called “financial experts” are saying the economic recovery is all around us. For you, it likely feels like the same old lingering economic malaise—especially as fiscal year news finds that your job may be on the chopping block in 2012.
With so many out of work and without proper unemployment benefits, and so many more looming layoffs in our state’s fiscal future, you might be wondering what you can do to stay out of serious financial trouble, even as you find yourself drowning in debt.
In these uncertain financial times, fraught with tough economic realities even as prognosticators only see “recoveries,” it has never been more important to understand all of the tools you have at your disposal for dealing with unexpected debts related to post-recessionary joblessness. One arrow in your financial quiver can be the benefits of a personal bankruptcy. Whether you’re in dire need of a Chapter 7 liquidation filing to dispense with unwieldy unsecured debt, or a Chapter 13 repayment plan to hold on to your assets while making good on your repayment options, bankruptcy can provide a safe and secure way to help you get through your own financial meltdown—whether it comes during the recession or after it.
So, if you’re interested in the process of recovering your personal wealth and securing a better financial future in North Carolina through the safe havens of bankruptcy, remember that contacting an experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you conquer your creditors and face even your worst financial fears. In particular, the bankruptcy professionals at the Law Offices of John T. Orcutt offer a totally FREE debt consultation and now, more than ever, it’s time to take them up on their offer. Just call toll free to 1-888-234-4181, or after business hours, you can make your own appointment online at www.billsbills.com. Simply click on the yellow “FREE Consultation Now” button and see what a savvy financial state you can live in, no matter where you work.