ALBANY, NY (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli released a report on overtime at state agencies on Thursday, May 11. The report shows an increase of over 47 percent in overtime costs to $1.36 billion in 2022, setting a new all-time high.
The report found that earnings from overtime work comprised 7.5 percent of total payroll in 2022, up 2.95 percent over the last ten years.
The Comptroller’s office found that overtime hours also increased 11 percent to 22.2 million over the same time period. DiNapoli’s office also said that three agencies accounted for over two-thirds of the state’s overtime: the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, and the Office of Mental Health.
DiNapoli attributed the increase in overtime to a decline in the size of the state’s workforce, as well as an acceleration in the attrition of state workers. Overall, the average number of state employees in 2022 – excluding SUNY and CUNY employees — dropped to roughly 142,000, a drop of over 18,000 workers in 10 years.
“The workforce is the backbone of state government and many of the employees working overtime ensure that essential services are provided,” DiNapoli said in a statement. “People leaving state jobs drastically outpaced hiring in 2020 and 2021, and the sharp decline in the size of the workforce spurred longer hours on the job for many. However, overtime is not a long-term substitute for proper staffing levels. State agencies should ensure that overtime use is justified and that employees are not pushed to the point of burning out.”
According to the Comptroller’s report, pay per overtime hour was also on the rise, up over 30% from 2021 to $61.41 per hour. The state police had the highest overtime pay, at $85.23 per hour of overtime.
The report also found that fewer than one in five state employees work overtime. Six state agencies had more than a quarter of their workforce working overtime last year, the biggest share coming from Veteran’s Homes – at just over 52 percent.