Municipal government strategies for controlling personnel costs during the fiscal storm

Jonathan West, Stephen E. Condrey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Fiscal stress has spurred city governments to search for ways to reduce costs. Human resource professionals and municipal budget officers have been searching for ways to reduce personnel-related costs because this is where the greatest savings can be realized. This paper identifies and examines different personnel cost-containment strategies pursued by a national sample of 90 large U.S. cities. It focuses on hiring, wages and hours, employee benefits and other HR-related actions. Results indicate that jurisdictions whose municipal fiscal conditions are considered to be fair or poor are more likely than cities whose fiscal conditions are perceived to be good to excellent to use many of the cost reduction strategies. Other demographic and organizational variables had some limited relationship with the use of strategies, but were not as significantly associated with costcontainment actions as city economic climate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)395-426
Number of pages32
JournalJournal of Public Budgeting, Accounting and Financial Management
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Finance


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