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State and Local Employee Views on Their Jobs, Pay & Benefits

National Institute on Retirement Security

Nov. 18, 2019
Recorded Online

We hope you can join us for a webinar on to review the findings of our latest research report, State and Local Employee Views of Their Jobs, Pay and Benefits.   

At a time when state and local governments are struggling to attract and retain employees to deliver vital taxpayer services, this new national poll finds that retirement and healthcare benefits are critically important job features, more so than salary.

These benefits are viewed as a powerful recruitment and retention tool, with nearly all state and local workers (93 percent) saying that pensions incentivize public workers to have long public service careers, and 94 percent agreeing that a pension is a good tool for attracting and retaining employees.
The findings are published by the National Institute on Retirement Security and based on research conducted by Greenwald & Associates.
NIRS also has published three professions fact sheets that provide a deeper dive on the views of teachers, firefighters and law enforcement professionals.  

The report finds that:

  • State and local employees place a high value on serving the public and their community, and are generally satisfied with their job despite high stress.
  • Benefits are among the most important job features for state and local employees.
  • State and local employees have mixed views on the competitiveness of their salary and compensation, but the vast majority agree they could earn a higher salary in the private sector.
  • Benefits are viewed as a powerful recruitment and retention tool.
  • Cutting state and local employee benefits could drive them out of the public workforce.
  • Millennials working in state and local government generally share the views of Baby Boomers and GenXers on their job, serving the public, pay, and benefits.


  • Dan Doonan, NIRS Executive Director
  • Tyler Bond, NIRS Research Manager and Report Co-Author

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