Though nearly 3,000 state employees still have received layoff notices, the number targeted to lose their jobs shrank slightly over the last week as Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s administration begins the complicated “bumping” process of reassigning workers based both on seniority and skills.

According to the latest weekly update from the governor’s office, the pink slip count fell by 24 – from 3,008 to 2,984 – since the July 27 update, as some new worker retirements reduced the need for layoffs slightly.

Malloy’s budget director, Office of Policy and Management Secretary Benjamin Barnes, said Wednesday that “a substantial majority of Executive Branch layoff notices” have gone out. But he noted the administration still is awaiting responses from public colleges and universities, which were assigned budgets cuts as were the Legislative and Judicial branches.

Those segments of state government are expected to order layoffs in part to meet those savings targets.

Barnes estimated that the final job cut total, through layoffs, retirements and eliminated vacant positions, should approach 6,000.

That all could change in the coming weeks, though, as the 15 state employee unions plan a second vote on a concession package expected to save $1.6 billion in total over this fiscal year and next.

Malloy has said most of those layoffs would be rescinded if that plan is adopted. According to administration projects, about 600 workers who have received layoff notices will have been separated from their jobs before those votes are completed in mid-August.

Keith has spent most of his 31 years as a reporter specializing in state government finances, analyzing such topics as income tax equity, waste in government and the complex funding systems behind Connecticut’s transportation and social services networks. He has been the state finances reporter at CT Mirror since it launched in 2010. Prior to joining CT Mirror Keith was State Capitol bureau chief for The Journal Inquirer of Manchester, a reporter for the Day of New London, and a former contributing writer to The New York Times. Keith is a graduate of and a former journalism instructor at the University of Connecticut.

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