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State Unemployment Rates by Age—State Fact Sheet

by Melissa Brown, Michelle Wong and Tay McNamara

June 2008—As a part of the greater States as Employers-of-Choice study, this Issue Brief examines the priorities of state agencies as employers and how they compare to priorities in the private sector.

Not surprisingly, differences do exist. The public sector rated flexible staffing much higher than did the private sector. Considering that “nearly a quarter of the workforce in state governments is 55 years of age or older,” flexible staffing options may be necessary to retain the workforce. The private sector, however, places a much higher priority on expanding market niche; private sector organizations must market their products and services, whereas the roles and responsibilities of state agencies are typically very well defined.

The report also found that state agencies and private businesses share many priorities. Increased productivity and more effective workforce management were both named as top priorities by the private and public sectors. Likewise, both groups identified the aging workforce as an asset and liability to achieving these goals.

Comparing the priorities of the public and private sectors could be useful to employers in both sectors. As the two must compete to secure employees, their stated goals and strategies to meet these goals may prove to be valuable marketing tools.

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