Glendale's city workforce by ethnicity

Glendale's city workforce by ethnicity (Steve Greenberg / Times Community News / May 9, 2014)

In looking at racial and ethnic groups tracked by the city, the number of white workers at City Hall has seen the most drastic change over the past decade, making up 39% of Glendale's workforce last year, down from 49% in 2004, according to a recently released city report.

The percentage of white workers was heavily impacted by the city's reorganization last year, which cut about 11% of employees through early-retirement incentives. The number of white workers dropped about 14% to 792 in 2013 compared to the prior year, according to the report.

At the same time, Armenian workers have been steadily increasing. Armenians made up 17% of the city's workforce in 2013, up from 11% in 2004. In 2013, the city had 343 Armenian workers, compared to 251 in 2004.

Although Armenians consider themselves to be racially white, the city counts the ethnic group in a distinct category. Glendale City Council members have long encouraged city officials to hire more employees that reflect Glendale's overall demographics. About a third of Glendale's population is Armenian.

"The trends noted have been and will continue to be gradual as evidenced by the large number of employees who have been with the city for over 10 years," according to the March demographics report.

Changing the composition of the city's workforce will depend on employees retiring, separating from the city and new positions opening, the report stated.

Glendale officials may undergo another round of retirement incentives in order to improve Glendale's long-term fiscal health. The biggest burden on the city is the cost of salaries and benefits, officials have said.

As officials forecast deficits — ranging from $1.7 million to $5.5 million — over the next seven years, officials may consider trimming the workforce again.

The total number of city workers in 2013, including salaried and hourly, was 2,010. Glendale officials have used a much smaller figure of 1,588 during city budget discussions, but that reflects authorized positions and the city does not include hourly workers in that headcount.

Other minority groups also saw gains in employee numbers. Asian/Pacific Islanders in 2013 made up 9.5% of city employees, a jump from about 8% in 2004. Blacks mostly remained steady, accounting for 3.6% of the workforce last year. Latinos increased slightly to about 30% of the workforce in 2013, compared to nearly 27% in 2004.

Of the 266 executive and management employees in 2013, 56% were white and 13% were Armenian. Of the 256 who held top jobs in 2004, about 69% were white and approximately 5% were Armenian.

While the racial and ethnic composition at City Hall has changed significantly over the past decade, gender composition has remained relatively constant with males making up roughly 70% of the workforce both in 2013 and 2004, according to the city report.

The high percentage of males, according to the report, is due to women not historically applying for positions in the Fire, Police, Public Works, Information Services and Glendale Water & Power departments.

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