Part of the problem has been semantics — the Administration insists on using the construction “positions eliminated”, which is really HR-speak for changes in an administrative database, but sounds good. What really matters is headcount.
And the data shows that from June 30, 2007* to June 30, 2009, state government added 844 employees, net of layoffs, positions eliminated, etc. To be fair, you could pull out Judicial and Higher Ed (I’m much more likely to pull out the former, not the latter) and you’d end up with an increase of 557 employees.
Keep in mind, much has gone on in the last six months, but the freshest HR data I have shows 472 layoffs in calendar year 2009 up until October. So, I’m pretty skeptical that anything close to a ~2000 position reduction in headcount has occurred.
But don’t take my word for it. Go fiddle with the data yourself and tell me if I’ve missed something.
* Patrick was inaugurated in January 2007, data breaks on June 30 of each year, so I figured this was the fairest breakpoint. The numbers using June 30, 2006 are absolutely horrendous. That’s an interesting story for someone to delve into.