NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Connecticut has been bracing for what’s called the “silver tsunami,” when a large number of state employees were expected to retire. On Wednesday, state officials said the number of state workers actually retiring is much lower than expected and recruiting efforts to fill vacancies are underway.

“It’s a very competitive environment out there,” said Governor Ned Lamont.

There are about 40,000 state employees in departments and agencies across Connecticut. The state worried thousands of employees would take advantage of an incentive and retire at the end of the fiscal year on July 1. 

“Just a few days from the July 1 deadline, we’re well-positioned to keep and retain many of our skilled employees in agencies across the state,” said Michelle Halloran Gilman, the commissioner of the state Department of Administrative Services (DAS).

As for the reason, Gilman said there could be several contributing factors including competitive benefits and salaries as well as the flexibility hybrid roles can provide.

“We’re seeing individuals pull back paperwork and say, I’ve decided to stay,” Gilman said.

According to the Office of the State Comptroller, about 7,000 people were eligible to retire this year. Of that, approximately 4,200 employees working in all state agencies filed applications for retirement.

To match the right people to the right jobs, the state has increased salaries in the hardest-to-fill jobs. They’re also leaning on sites, such as LinkedIn and Indeed, to reach more candidates who have technological skills to help as the state transfers more services online.

“Historically, the state would post jobs and hope that people applied,” said Nick Hermes, Chief Human Resources Officer for the state of Connecticut. “It’s a very different ballgame these days. We are actively sourcing applicants at all levels.”

Click here to see current job openings with the state.