Overview

The primary responsibility of a fiscal and policy analyst (FPA) is to be the LAO’s expert in the policy area to which he or she is assigned. These assignments fall into one of the following units in the office: Economy, Taxes, and Labor; Health, Developmental Services, and Technology; Higher Education; K-12 Education; Human Services and Governance; Public Safety and Business Regulation; and State Budget Condition.

Toward this end, an analyst:

  • Spends considerable time in the field learning first-hand how programs work in practice.
  • Keeps up on the laws and available literature in the program area.
  • Knows and stays in contact with legislative, administrative, and intergovernmental staff, as well as industry groups and nonprofit organizations in the assigned policy area.

The analyst uses this expertise to:

  • Identify and analyze budget and policy issues and develop options and recommendations for the Legislature to address these issues. These analyses are contained in reports, legislative assignments, and initiative and ballot pamphlet write-ups.
  • Testify before legislative committees on fiscal and policy issues.
  • Serve as a fiscal and program resource to legislators whenever needed.

Because analysts are nonpartisan fiscal and policy staff, it is essential their work be objective, analytical, accurate, and thorough. In addition, for the analyst’s work to be useful to the Legislature, it must be solution-oriented and performed in a timely manner.

Minimum Qualifications

Applicants must possess a master’s degree in public policy, public or business administration, economics, or a related field that includes a curriculum of economics, statistics, public finance, and policy analysis. In addition, analysts must: (1) possess strong quantitative and analytical skills; (2) be able to communicate effectively through clear and concise writing and oral presentations; (3) work well with others in a fast-paced and production-oriented environment; (4) learn, show initiative, and be willing to take on increasing levels of responsibility; and (5) be proficient in Microsoft Excel and Word.

Compensation and Benefits

The entry-level salary for the fiscal and policy analyst position is approximately $72,000 per year. The office will consider salaries that are above this amount, depending on the candidate’s qualifications and experience. Salaries for senior fiscal and policy analysts (analysts who have demonstrated the ability to perform all analytical tasks and produce all office products with a minimum amount of supervision) begin at approximately $104,000 per year. Salaries for principal fiscal and policy analysts range from $124,000 to $143,000 per year.

The LAO also provides a comprehensive package of health, vision, dental, and retirement benefits. In addition, the LAO provides vacation, sick leave, compensatory time off for overtime above a specified level, and about 13 holidays per year. Find additional information about benefits here.

Employees work from the office Monday through Thursday. Telecommuting is allowed on Fridays, and Mondays during some parts of the year.

Appointment Status

Permanent, full-time, in-person

Proposed Starting Date

August 2022 (flexible)

How to Apply

Application deadline: December 17, 2021

Applicants should submit a resume and cover letter by the deadline. All requested information must be submitted for your application to be considered.

Please email your application packet to: lao.employment@lao.ca.gov.

For further information regarding application procedures, you may contact the administrative coordinator, at sarah.barkman@lao.ca.gov.

References may be requested.

About California Legislative Analyst's Office

The Legislative Analyst's Office has been providing fiscal and policy advice to the Legislature for more than 75 years. It is known for its fiscal and programmatic expertise and nonpartisan analyses of the state budget. The office serves as the "eyes and ears"​ for the Legislature to ensure that the executive branch is implementing legislative policy in a cost-efficient and effective manner.