More Public Sector Workers Are Retiring

12/08/2011 07:43 am ET

MADISON, Wis. -- As states and cities struggle to resolve paralyzing budget shortfalls by sending workers on unpaid furloughs, freezing salaries and extracting larger contributions for health benefits and pensions, a growing number of public-sector workers are finding fewer reasons to stay.

The numbers of retirees are way up in Wisconsin, where more applications to retire have been filed this year than ever before. Workers in California's largest public employee pension system have retired at a steadily increasing rate over the last five fiscal years. In New Jersey, thousands more teachers, police officers, firefighters and other public workers filed retirement papers during the past two years than in the previous two years.