Audit: Louisiana state workers decrease, but pay costs rise

Louisiana News

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A new audit says Louisiana’s state government employee ranks have thinned over the last seven years, but the decline in workers hasn’t dropped the state payroll’s costs.

Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera’s office found that the number of state workers across dozens of executive branch agencies dropped by nearly 4% from the 2012-13 budget year through the 2019-20 budget year.

But auditors found that salary expenses increased more than 5% from $1.7 billion to $1.8 billion during that time.

And other employee costs for overtime, retirement and health care benefits surged.

Much of the pay increase was driven by salary adjustments made by Gov. John Bel Edwards for rank-and-file workers a few years ago.

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