Pa. cuts thousands of jobs in effort to mitigate budget shortfalls

    Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf says the state is cutting  thousands of unfilled state jobs. (AP file photo)

    Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf says the state is cutting thousands of unfilled state jobs. (AP file photo)

    Facing steep revenue shortfalls on top of a vast structural deficit, Gov. Tom Wolf has announced Pennsylvania is axing thousands of unfilled state jobs.

    A memo the administration recently sent out cites “budgetary issues” as a reason.

    This isn’t the first time this year the administration has put limits on hiring. A similar move was made in March, in the wake of the nine-month budget standoff.

    Then, Wolf announced a ceiling — state agencies couldn’t fill vacancies beyond a specific limit.

    However, that time around, the move was temporary.

    Now, Wolf spokesman Jeff Sheridan said, the state’s officially removing jobs that exceed a newly revised ceiling, which reflects unfilled jobs as of Dec. 2.

    “We are looking at what we are facing in the next year, which is probably a $600 million shortfall, in addition to a structural budget deficit,” he said. “So it is necessary for us to take these types of actions, to eliminate these positions in order to save money.”

    Sheridan said there’s no exact tally of jobs to be cut. He noted that this is not a hiring freeze.

    “While there was a hiring freeze at one point that we implemented, this is not that,” he said. “This is the actual elimination of positions.”

    The governor’s office hasn’t officially confirmed how much money the cuts might save.

    However much it is, though, will be routed to the budgetary reserve, according to the governor’s memo.

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