State employee overtime spending jumped 12% to $228.2 million in 2018, putting further pressure on Connecticut's fiscal struggles.

That's the third highest level in history, with government agencies spending $23.8 million more on overtime in fiscal 2018 than the previous year, when spending dropped to a six-year low.

State employee overtime spendingOvertime spending declined in both 2016 and 2017 after hitting an all-time high of $256.1 million in 2015.

The non-partisan Office of Fiscal Analysis' year-end report shows state agencies spent $50 million on overtime in the final quarter of the fiscal year.

CBIA's Louise DiCocco called the increase "alarming," noting the state finished fiscal 2018 with an estimated budget deficit of $505 million, with shortfalls of $165 million, $2.1 billion, and $2.6 billion projected over the next three years.

"State government's failure to control overtime spending has significant short-term and long-term fiscal consequences for Connecticut," DiCocco said.

"Just navigating the next few years is challenging enough, but because overtime is a factor for calculating state employee pensions, the failure to control spending also drives up the state's long-term liabilities."

2018 State Overtime Spending: Top Five Agencies

DepartmentFY 2018 OvertimeFY 2017 Overtime$ Difference% Difference
Correction$71.97 million$62 million$9.9 million16%
Mental Health & Addiction Services$53.98 million$47.98 million$5.99 million12.5%
Developmental Services$44.22 million$43.64 million$579,6641.3%
Children & Families$22.9 million$21.69 million$1.2 million5.6%
Emergency Services & Public Protection$19.73 million$14.97 million$4.75 million31.8%

Five state agencies accounted for over 93% of all overtime spending in fiscal 2018. All five saw cost increases ranging from 1% to 32%.

Overtime spending jumped $9.9 million to $62 million at the Department of Correction, while the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection saw the largest percentage increase.

Outside the top five, the remaining 33 agencies spent $15.37 million on overtime last fiscal year, a 10% increase over 2017.

As overtime is a factor for calculating state employee pensions, the failure to control spending also drives up the state's long-term liabilities.
Eleven of those agencies saw overtime costs fall, with the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner posting the largest decline (-$103,721).

Spending rose for the year despite 150 fewer state employees claiming overtime.

Overall, 17,354 state employees claimed overtime at an average $13,149 per employee. In 2017, the average payout was $11,675.

DMHAS employees had the highest average payout in 2018, with 2,393 workers averaging $22,557 in overtime.

For more information, contact CBIA's Louise DiCocco (203.589.6515) | @LouiseDiCocco