A story in the Sept. 16 issue of the Las Vegas Sun titled “Census shows big drop in public sector employment
” ended on a note that raised many eyebrows in the NFA. The last line of the story read:
“The silver lining for those who kept their jobs was that payrolls increased by $9 million for public school employees and $1.7 million for those in higher education when comparing March 2010 to March 2009.”
Anyone employed by or following the Nevada System of Higher Education might have found it hard to believe that payroll went up with the loss of so many positions due to state budget cuts – and they’d be right.
In fact, according to NSHE’s Fiscal and Operations Office, audited financials for June 2009 to June 2010 indicate that payroll and benefits in higher education actually went down $22.5 million from $950,335,000 to $927,755,000. NSHE began seeing position losses in fiscal year 2010, which was also the first year of the furlough program – both of which would reduce payroll.
System and university financial analysts are looking into what might have caused the error in the census data.