After two years of furloughs and frustration, the fallout from state worker pay cuts is stark and tangible.
Excluding the University of California, annual state worker pay has fallen about $1.2 billion from its 2008 peak. It dropped about $426 million, or 2.4 percent, last year alone, according to new figures from the state controller's office analyzed by The Bee.
The cuts have pummeled the Sacramento region, which lost about $18 million in state worker wages each month during 2010 compared to 2008.
The lower pay is partly due to job losses. The full-time state work force is about 2 percent smaller today than it was a year ago. But about half of state workers recently took another pay cut, earning less in 2010 than during 2009.
"Furlough Fridays" ended late last year but were largely replaced by a "personal leave program" requiring state workers to average one unpaid day off a month.
"I think most people have gotten used to it," said Richard Wyatt, a construction manager with the state Department of Veterans Affairs who saw his pay fall by $13,000 from 2008 to 2010.
In a way, the state work force is getting slammed now much like their counterparts in the private sector took a lashing during 2009.
Total private sector earnings dropped much faster that year than state government pay. But private sector pay started climbing again, albeit from a deep hole, during 2010, while government pay continued to decline, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.
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