Thank God It's Furlough Friday?
By John Gramlich, Staff Writer
Today (April 2) is another Furlough Friday in California and New Mexico — two states that are employing a common cost-cutting strategy by having their workers take regular, unpaid days off. As The Wall Street Journal reports, it's not a bad deal for some state workers, either, as they're spending more time with their families and finding that businesses are targeting them for special offers.
"Friday furloughs are producing an unexpected dividend for many of these workers: Marketers have discovered them," The Journal reports in a front-page feature today .
This is especially true in California, where more than 200,000 state workers have been furloughed without pay every Friday for more than a year, even as a court battle rages over whether the furloughs are legal.
Several ski areas are offering discounted lift tickets to furloughed California workers. A casino is pitching $30 coupons. And a popular comedy club in Sacramento, the capital, lets state employees and their families in free on Fridays, The Journal reports.
The same phenomenon is likely to be happening elsewhere in the country. Stateline.org found last year that at least 21 states have forced a total of more than 725,000 workers to take unpaid days off during the recession. In Utah, meanwhile, the four-day work week for state employees is becoming a staple, even serving as a model for other governors looking to trim costs with their own workforces.