County Government Center in downtown San Luis Obispo.
County Government Center in downtown San Luis Obispo.

County Slows Hiring to Close Next Year’s Budget Gap

Author: Administrative Office
Date: 3/28/2018 9:13:08 AM

The County is still hiring, but is slowing down the rate at which it fills vacant positions this year to help close next year's budget gap.


The County of San Luis Obispo is slowing the rate at which it fills vacant positions to close an anticipated budget gap next fiscal year.

“We are still hiring, but we have enacted a ‘hiring chill’, which means the Administrative Office is more heavily scrutinizing departments’ requests to fill vacant positions before the recruitment process begins,” said County Budget Director Emily Jackson. “We can save money this year by leaving certain positions vacant. Then we can put that savings toward the budget next year to help close the gap.”

The County projects a $2.8 million to $4.8 million budget gap next fiscal year. This “hiring chill” is one of the County’s short-term solutions to balancing the budget.

The hiring chill took effect on March 14 until further notice and serves three purposes: (1) It preserves existing services already being provided to county residents, (2) it saves money in the current fiscal year to ensure that funding is available for the future and (3) it minimizes the impact difficult financial times will have on current employees.

Labor costs make up about 60 percent of the County General Fund budget. As a result, salary and benefit costs have the most significant impact on expenses.

“We need to strike a balance between maintaining fiscal health and continuing to provide public programs and services to the people of San Luis Obispo County,” Jackson said. “This is a short-term solution, but we’re looking at long-term budget-balancing strategies as well.”

Watch the most recent budget update presented to the Board of Supervisors on February 20. 

For media inquiries, contact County Budget Director Emily Jackson at (805) 781-5011 or emjackson@co.slo.ca.us.