EDISON - Gov. Chris Christie says the planned layoffs of 1,200 state workers might not be necessary because of high levels of attrition.

At a town hall event in Clifton yesterday, Christie said he may be able to spare the cuts he planned to execute in January if the state work force has lost as many positions by then.

Christie's budget, passed in June, called for a reduction of 1,300 positions.

Because of a deal the largest state worker union struck with former Gov. Jon Corzine, Christie couldn't order the layoffs before January.

The agreement deferred a 3.5 percent raise state workers were due on July 1, 2009, and ordered 10 furlough days in exchange for a no-layoffs pledge through December 2010.

AP wire services contributed to this report.