Employers nationwide are having difficulty both retaining and replacing staff
The Departments of the State of California are no exception. Compounding this effect are studies demonstrating that even as the pandemic ebbs, the public sector has also experienced a consistent decline in employees. In 2021, the number of job openings for state and local governments was higher than any time in the past 20 years. Across all industries, job opening rates increased 52%, from 2.5% pre-pandemic to 3.8% post-pandemic, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is in conjunction with a 11.7% resignation rate for state employees, a 2%-point increase from 2016 (Farmer, 2022). Other sectors are experiencing problems with retention, but state workers are quitting their jobs even more rapidly and the positions increasingly remain unfilled.
A study by the Mission Square Research Institute revealed that 38% of state workers accelerated their plans for retirement during 2021. Feelings of stress and burnout, vaccine mandates, improper compensation for increased workload, and a desire to continue working from home are all factors associated with state employee dissatisfaction. Another survey suggested that 31% of state workers were considering a job change, and about 8% wanted to leave the government sector altogether (Farmer, 2022). As state employees retire, younger job-seekers have been reluctant to take the baton. The younger generation’s tendency to change jobs more frequently and the private sector’s attractive benefits and salaries are additional factors cited for reducing the appeal of government careers for younger job-seekers.
The public sector workforce is changing. The “new normal” may very well be a permanently reduced government workforce. Hence, it is critical that the public sector seeks long-term solutions to this looming change.
One of the ways the state can respond to a decreased workforce is through automation and increased application of Artificial Intelligence (AI). The consulting firm Deloitte estimates that through using AI, the public sector could free up as many as 1.2 billion working hours each year (Farmer, 2022). Hence, AI and automation have the potential to reduce employee strain tenfold.
In response to the public sector’s changing workforce, Acuity has partnered with Crow Canyon Software. Crow Canyon automates your current Microsoft 365, SharePoint, and Teams platforms to increase productivity and alleviate tedious tasks. Crow Canyon solutions include ready-to-use business applications, Bots for MS Teams, and NITRO Studio, a comprehensive no-code business process automation platform that includes forms and workflows, portals, dashboards, reporting, and analytic tools.