State work force down by 8,000

More than 8,000 classified state employees have lost their jobs since Gov. Bobby Jindal took office, according to a state Civil Service report issued Tuesday,

The bulk of the 8,278 employees were laid off as a result of Jindal administration initiatives that turned traditional state functions over to private companies.

Most of the layoffs have occurred in the past two state fiscal years with privatization of the LSU hospital system.

So far, 2,270 employees have been laid off this fiscal year, which ends June 30, Civil Service reports. Of them, 2,196 had been employees of LSU hospitals in Bogalusa, Shreveport and Monroe.

The layoffs reached a high last fiscal year, when 3,808 people lost their state jobs as the privatization of the LSU hospitals began.

There were 40,895 classified employees as of the end of May, according to Civil Service.

Jindal administration officials say that most of the laid-off employees were offered jobs by the private firm taking over the services.

The 8,278 employee layoff has occurred as the administration targeted 13,404 positions for elimination in the last six state fiscal years.

The people actually laid off and the number of targeted positions differ because some positions were vacant and in other cases employees left prior to the effective date of the layoff.