Santa Clara County plans to cut vacant jobs to fix $120 million budget deficit   

Photo courtesy of Santa Clara County's website.

Santa Clara County released a $11.2 billion budget proposal for the 2023-2024 fiscal year to help tackle the $120 million deficit and the looming threat of an economic downturn by cutting nearly 20 percent of the County’s vacant job positions.  

The proposal would cut 650 jobs out of roughly 3,500 total vacancies to help offset the deficit. County leaders will look at roles across multiple departments and cut positions that have been vacant for more than 18 months. Current employees will not be impacted. 

According to recent reports by the Mercury News and the San Jose Spotlight, the news has alarmed County employees and local unions who say the move will only worsen existing staffing issues.  

In his budget message, outgoing County Executive Jeffrey Smith described the budget as a “transitional year plan” that will be “frequently reassessed as the financial landscape changes throughout this year.”  

Also included in the budget proposal was a five-year general fund forecast that projects an operating deficit in the 2024-2025 fiscal year that will continue in the following three years and could result in a $194 million deficit in 2025-2026.  

The County held budget workshops this week to gather public feedback on the proposal and will have three budget hearings on June 12, 13, and 15. For more information, visit Santa Clara County’s Budget and Finance website.