WGVA 106.3FM 1240AMMix 98.5101.7 The WallWFLR Finger Lakes Country Classic Hits 99.3The Lake 100.1/104.5 WAUB 96.3FM 1590AM

State Agency OT Costs at All-Time High


Overtime costs at state agencies rose 47.2% to more than $1.36 billion in 2022, setting a new record, according to a report released Friday by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. Overtime hours increased by 11.1% to 22.2 million over the same period. Overtime earnings comprised 7.5% of total payroll spending in 2022, a significant increase from the 4.6% average from 2013-2021.

“The workforce is the backbone of state government and many of the employees working overtime ensure that essential services are provided,” DiNapoli said. “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.”

Key Findings:

  • Three agencies accounted for more than two-thirds of the state’s overtime including the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS), and the Office of Mental Health (OMH). Together they comprised 24% of the workforce but accounted for 67.5% of the overtime hours and 68.5% of the overtime earnings logged by all state agencies in 2022.
  • Overtime hours at the City University of New York (CUNY) and the Office of Children and Family Services increased more than 67% and 40%, respectively. Overtime earnings grew more than 51% and 112%, respectively.
  • Fewer than 1 in 5 state agency employees work overtime. Six state agencies had more than 25% of their workforce accruing overtime in 2022. Veterans’ Homes and OPWDD had the highest shares, at 52.1% and 52% respectively, followed by the State Police at 44.2%.
  • Pay per overtime hour averaged $61.41. This rate is almost one-third higher than in 2021. The State Police paid the highest average hourly rate, at $85.23 per overtime hour. OMH paid the next highest, at $71.30, followed by Children and Family Services at $67.98. The latter two agencies’ overtime pay per overtime hour went up over 61% and 51% respectively in 2022 compared to 2021.

State Workforce Trends

During the 10-year period, the average annual number of employees working for the state, excluding SUNY and CUNY, declined from 160,829 employees in 2013 to roughly 142,396 in 2022 – a drastic reduction from 15 years ago when the state workforce size was over 180,000.

The 2021 rate of attrition was the highest in the last ten years, with 16,858 people leaving the workforce, an increase of 26% from the prior year. New hiring declined sharply in 2020 but rebounded in 2021, though not nearly enough to match attrition.

Get the top stories on your radio 24/7 on Finger Lakes News Radio 96.3 and 1590, WAUB and 106.3 and 1240, WGVA, and on Finger Lakes Country, 96.1/96.9/101.9/1570 WFLR.