JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) –  The state of Missouri hired new employees faster than usual in the last quarter of 2010.

Hiring by state agencies in that quarter was up 17 percent; state agencies hired 1,085 new full-time workers in the quarter, compared with 924 hired in the same period of 2009.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch said a clue to the hiring surge could be new retirement rules that kicked in for state employees on Jan. 1.

Employees on the payroll before Dec. 31, 2010, don’t have to contribute to their pensions.

Those joining the ranks since Jan. 1 do. They must chip in 4 percent of salary and work longer to earn pensions.

Emily Smith, a spokeswoman for the Office of Administration, said agencies made their own decisions on whether to fill vacancies in December.

She said there was no information to determine whether some tried to beat the retirement changes.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved


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