The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

September 24, 2009
See pre- and post-furlough state payroll figures

So how much have furloughs boomeranged to hit the state with lost employee payroll taxes?

We've collected data from the controller's office about state income tax withheld from state workers' pay from January 2006 through August of this year. The figures give an indication of how furloughs have affected state tax receipts from workforce payroll.

The state's cut of employee payroll took a $6 million hit in last February, the first month of furloughs, compared with the same month in 2008. Gross payroll for the month also shrank by $62 million, despite nearly 6,000 more full-time employees. (Departments lost about 500 more part-time and intermittent workers, so the overall state worker count for February of this year was down compared to February 2008.)

Click here for the February 2008-09 comparison. You can also check out a July 2008-09 table here. We picked that month for a snapshot, since it was the first with three "Furlough Fridays."

Access the controller's month-by-month data by clicking here.

(The data isn't in a form that can be immediately manipulated. We invite enterprising State Worker blog users to take up the cause and share tables, graphs and observations they cull from the information.)

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at


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