The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

State Government Positions Unfilled as Services Decline

Feb 6, 2023

Maryland has 10,000 unfilled state job positions, according to the Maryland Department of Budget and Management. Some state agencies have 10% to 30% vacancy rates. This is why many Maryland residents and small businesses have been unable to get services in a timely fashion.

Maryland’s new governor claims he will fill 5,000 of these positions during his first year in office. Yet the biggest state workers union says it will take improvements in pay, child-care subsidies, housing down payment, and continuing education assistance and remote-work opportunities to achieve this goal. And the legislature has not yet approved funding for these things.

Maryland is far from alone in this situation. There are big numbers of vacant state and local positions all over the country. In California there are now about 100,000 fewer public sector workers than there were before the pandemic. In Illinois more than 5,300 weren’t filled in 2022 in the public schools alone. In New York City alone there were roughly 21,000 unfilled city positions at the end of 2022.

Politicians like to say they are going to cut down on waste in government agencies. But in fact, if they do anything, it is usually to cut back on government employment and on funding for essential government services while allowing waste and corruption to continue.

As a result, ordinary working people and their families suffer, whether it’s at the unemployment compensation offices, in the schools or elsewhere. Meanwhile the rich supporters of these politicians continue raking in the dough from inflated government contracts.

Only a big fight by working people has the possibility of changing this situation. Both Democratic and Republican politicians are part of the problem as they administer the funding in the service of the wealthy, not the working population.