Friday, June 3, 2011

Nonprofits brace for employment hit

Crain's NY Business related that Gov. Andrew Cuomo was hailed for shaving 2.3% off the state budget. But what was good for Albany may be bad for the city—especially social service organizations, which say the ripple effect could mean the loss of more than 11,000 nonprofit jobs here.

That estimate comes from the Human Services Council of New York City, an umbrella organization of nonprofits, which calculates that a job is lost for every $35,000 in cuts. The group says Mayor Mike Bloomberg proposes $400 million in social services cuts largely because Albany requires the city to provide certain services but does not always fund them.

“The city had to make up the differences in mandated services,” said Chris Winward, senior policy analyst at the Human Services Council.

Funding for social services has actually increased $218 million statewide since last year, but that doesn't cover the growing cost of providing mandated services, a mayoral spokesman said.

The Human Services Council said most of the lost jobs would be among social workers and case managers. Because the funding is expected to be cut at the start of the city's fiscal year on July 1, many organizations have already sent out 30-day layoff notices to workers, Winward said.

Predicting job losses is more art than science. Social services advocates are dusting off their worst-case scenarios from last year as the city's budget battle kicks into the homestretch. A mayoral spokesman could not comment on the layoff prediction, saying that the city funds services but does not tell organizations how to manage their work forces. Read more here.

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