First Look at "State of the Public Workforce" Survey Results
How can the Triangle J Council of Governments region strengthen the resilience of the public sector workforce and build community-wide support for these essential services?
Triangle J Council of Governments’ Regional Summit on November 2nd at Dorothea Dix Park intends to begin the process of providing strategies to answer this question. The event – an annual convening of local government elected officials and staff from counties and municipalities in Chatham, Durham, Johnston, Lee, Moore, Orange, and Wake counties - will examine how well-being and mental health impacts public organizations and the stability of the public sector workforce. The event will also provide attendees with data and tools to improve individual and collective well-being.
National Trends & Local Concerns
The public sector faces accelerated challenges in recruiting and retaining skilled workers. National research from the University of South Carolina cites stress, burnout, burdensome bureaucracy, low wages, accelerated retirements, and public distrust as causes of high vacancy rates in local government positions. Data from the Mission Square Research Institute identifies a growing number of hard-to-fill public sector positions, looming waves of retirements, and extensive new hires as threats to government viability.
The region’s local governments are not immune to these national trends. Still, they face additional challenges including rising costs of living for workers and rapid growth that requires massive infrastructure investments and strains local budgets.
The State of Our Region’s Public Workforce
While there is significant national research on the challenges facing the public sector workforce, the best place to develop solutions is on the local and regional scale.
In the summer of 2022, TJCOG partnered with RTI International to survey 300+ local government leaders across the region to provide insights on the state of our public sector workforce and drivers of employee well-being, turnover, recruiting, and retention. This data intends to inform local leaders and serve as the foundation for collaborative workforce projects coordinated by TJCOG.
Wednesday’s event will kick off by providing attendees with a first look at the survey results, trends, and themes that may require further action and data comparisons with other industries.