Feature Article - June 2007
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From Cost to Coast, and Everywhere in Between

Operating expenditures follow a similar track, with the highest level of operating expenditures for fiscal year 2006 seen in the Western states. Here, respondents averaged approximately $1.3 million in operating expenditures, which is 11.3 percent higher than the average across all respondents of $1.18 million. However, the rate of increase in operating expenditures will be lowest in the Western states between fiscal 2006 and fiscal 2008, with an increase of just 7 percent to $1.4 million.

The highest rate of increase in operating expenditures is expected in the South Atlantic states, whose respondents reported an expected 9.9 percent increase in operating expenditures, from $1.28 million in fiscal 2006 to more than $1.4 million in fiscal 2008.

The lowest operating expenditures for fiscal 2006 were reported by respondents in the Northeast, with an average of $1.08 million-9.5 percent less than the average across all respondents. This group expects operating expenditures to increase by 8.1 percent to $1.17 million by fiscal 2008. (See Figure 29.)

Staffing levels tell a similar story, with dramatic increases reported in the South Atlantic states-a 45.4 percent increase from 307.5 employees on average reported currently to 447 projected for 2008. The second highest level of increase is projected for the South Central states, which projected a 16.7 percent increase from 198.3 employees on average now to 231.5 on average in 2008. The smallest increases in staffs were expected in the Midwest, which projects virtually no change between now and 2008. Respondents in the Northeast actually projected a slight decrease in the number of staff required to run their facilities.