two workers on Washington State Ferry wearing safety vests standing on deck (Photo: Shutterstock)

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The financial and job-related outlooks of state andlocal government employees have been widely impacted by thecoronavirus pandemic, a new survey shows, withexamples ranging from employees suffering negative financial impacts in their lives to havingdifficulty adjusting to how the pandemic has forced their jobcircumstances to change.

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Fifty-six percent of the 1,008 state and local governmentemployees surveyed across the nation said that they and theirfamily's finances have been "negatively" impacted by the pandemic,according to a June-issued report by the Center for State and LocalGovernment Excellence on the survey's results. Meanwhile, 47% ofthe employees expect the pandemic's financial impact to worsen overthe next year, according to the report.

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Sixty-three percent of the employees surveyed said it has beendifficult adjusting to COVID-19-forced changes in the "nature" oftheir jobs, such as what they do, where they work, or how they goabout the tasks required, the report said.

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In other notable results listed in the June-issued report, thesurvey found that before the pandemic hit just 29 percent of theemployees' surveyed had a personal or family emergency-money fundfully funded. And now with the impact of the pandemic, 43% of thesurveyed employees with emergency funds believe they will have totake money from their funds to make ends meet in the next year, thereport said.

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At the same time, 26% of those employees think they'll be forcedto reduce the amount of money they're saving for retirement becausethe pandemic's affect, while 30 percent said they expect to have toreduce the cash amount they're saving in general.

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On the job-impact front, 74% of employees surveyed said they'renow doing at least some of their job-work remotely, as opposed to18% of them before the pandemic, said the report. And among thesurveyed employees who are working remotely for the first time, orin greater amounts than they were before, 55% of them said it hasbeen "difficult adjusting to remote work," according to the 22-pagereport on the survey.

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Seventy percent of the government employees consider theirworkplaces to be "at least somewhat risky" with regard to potentialexposure those who may have COVID-19.

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In looking at the "financial profile" impact of COVID-19, thesurvey found 65% of the employees are "very or extremely confident"about making financial decisions on their own generally, while 53percent are "very or extremely confident" about making financialdecisions during the pandemic and related economic crisis."

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Regarding survey demographics, the report noted, in part, thatthe majority of respondents were female, white or Caucasian, andworked for state government. The demographics "generally align withthe overall state and local government workforce profile," thereport said.

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The survey was conducted from May 4 to May 20 of this year bythe Center for State and Local Government Excellence and byGreenwald & Associates, a public opinion and market researchcompany. The report covering the results was issued by theWashington, D.C.-based government excellence center, whichdescribes itself, in part, as helping "local and state governmentsbecome knowledgeable and competitive employers so they can attractand retain a talented and committed workforce.

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Jason Grant

Jason Grant is a staff writer covering legal stories and cases for the New York Law Journal, the National Law Journal and Law.com, and a former practicing attorney. He's written and reported previously for the New York Times, the Star-Ledger, the L.A. Times and other publications. Contact him at [email protected]. On Twitter, pls find him @JasonBarrGrant