Some local Kansas governments are operating with 10% of their positions unfilled, making it hard to deliver the services that citizens expect.
Across the state, Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that Kansas has seen a 4.7% drop in the number of public sector workers, which translates into about 12,000 vacant jobs statewide.
The pandemic has made the situation worse because the competitive labor market has made it hard to replace older employees who decided to retire.
In Concordia, six positions open – which accounts for 10% of the city’s workforce – and workers are stretched thin.
Elsewhere, the city of Lawrence has over twice the normal number of vacant positions.
In Winfield, the city had to overhaul its pay structure for utilities workers in an effort to avoid being short-staffed.
Officials in Shawnee County and across Kansas have struggled to hire corrections and public safety workers.