In December 2016, Elizabeth Kellar, President/CEO of the Center for State and Local Government Excellence (SLGE), was published in the Local Government Review. The article, “Why Local Governments Are Talking about Millennials,” discusses demographic shifts in the local government workforce and the importance of succession planning.

According to the article, the projections for the U.S. Working Population in 2020 include: 17% of workers will be ages 56-74; 27% will be ages 43-55; and 56% will be ages 18-42. Currently, the average age of a local government worker is age 45 as compared to age 42 in the private sector workforce. Notably, 25% of local government workers are age 55 or older.

As older workers reach retirement age, more jobs become available for younger workers. In local governments, there is greater competition for candidates that are well-educated, experienced and skilled. Due to the aging local government workforce and more competition for talent, succession planning is vital. However, only 27% of human resources managers in local governments are engaged in workforce succession planning.

Kellar concludes, “The dramatic shift in generations requires a disciplined approach to ensure that local governments have the talent they need to meet society’s needs. Government leaders need to examine their current demographics, talent gaps, and development needs and craft a succession plan that helps their organizations be better prepared for the changes ahead.”

The article is available here.