Local governments struggle to hire public sector workers

Local

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Some local Kansas governments are operating with 10% of their positions unfilled, making it hard to deliver the services that citizens expect.

Across the state, Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that Kansas has seen a 4.7% drop in the number of public sector workers, which translates into about 12,000 vacant jobs, but some towns are being hit harder.

The pandemic has made the situation worse because the competitive labor market makes it hard to replace older employees who decided to retire.

And private companies, which are also struggling to hire, have more flexibility in pay and benefits that city governments generally do.

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