CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- While I was off enjoying the holidays (save for three hours at Yankee Stadium), the left-leaning, union-supported West Virginia Center for Budget and Policy put out a report claiming the state had lost some 17,000 jobs during the year, led by the loss of 5,700 jobs in the government sector.
Which must have come as a shock to the folks in the state Budget Office, which reports that the number of permanent state employee FTE positions grew from 37,709 in January 2012 to 38,149 as of December.
Who's right? Both, probably, although they're comparing apples and oranges.
During the course of 2011 (the most recent calendar year available), a total of 69,943 individuals drew paychecks from the state, according to the Auditor's Office.
However, of that number, a whopping 34,556 were temporary employees.
From state parks to the Tax Division at income tax time, there's any number of reasons for state agencies to hire temporary employees.
However, by far the largest numbers of temporary employees are at colleges around the state, including community and technical colleges. That includes part-time instructors, but work-study students account for the lion's share of the temps. (Because of that, West Virginia University alone was cited for more than 11,000 temporary employees in 2011.)
The CBP may be correct that 5,700 government jobs were lost in 2012, but suffice to say not many were full-time state government positions.
Ironically, one office that did lose employees in 2012 was the governor's office, which went from 84 FTEs in January to 53 currently. That's because during the course of the year, the Office of Economic Opportunity was moved to Commerce, and Volunteer West Virginia went under the Department of Education and the Arts.
The state Republican Party Executive Committee is late filing its general election campaign financial disclosures, which were due back Dec. 19. Reportedly, they received last-minute contributions from Don Blankenship that they may prefer not to publicize. (Wasn't able to reach Chairman Conrad Lucas for comment Friday ...)
I'm advised there's been an automated telephone poll ongoing regarding the potential U.S. Senate race between Jay Rockefeller and Rep. Shelley Moore Capito.
The poll, by Sun Surveys of Miami, Fla., asks straightforward questions regarding opinions of Rockefeller and Capito, and their job performance. Individuals are also asked questions, including whom they voted for in the 2012 presidential election, as well as in the 2008 election between Rockefeller and Republican Jay Wolfe.