Mayor calls for city hiring freeze

Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered a hiring freeze yesterday as the city seeks to close a projected $3 billion budget gap in the coming fiscal year that starts July 1.

In a memo to city agency heads, Bloomberg said the city must rein in fiscal 2011 spending by $800 million.

An additional $1.2 billion in savings will be needed in the fiscal 2012 budget, translating to a 4 percent cut for uniformed forces and education and an 8 percent cut for all other agencies, Bloomberg said.

The city’s unemployment rate has fallen for seven straight months and job growth has outpaced the national rate, but tax revenue remains $4 billion below peak levels reached before the recession began, Bloomberg said. Other costs, especially for city pensions, are on the rise, he said.

Bloomberg briefly froze hiring in July 2009. Prior to that, the last major hiring freeze was in 2007, a Bloomberg spokesman said.


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