Federal hiring on steep decline

Hiring by federal agencies has dropped sharply in recent years, and the pace of departing employees has increased, a new report finds.

According to the report — by the Partnership for Public Service, aptly entitled “Federal Departures” — the number of employees leaving annually increased from 83,317 in 2009 to 115,661 in 2012 and 114,354 in 2013, an increase of over 37 percent. 

The report also lists the most affected agencies, how long departing employees had stayed with the federal government, and what specifically might be driving people to call it quits. 

Resignations, the report notes, for example, are up sharply since 2008 and 2009, the worst period of economic downturn—likely signaling many feds feel they have other options. And while entry-level employees make up only about 34 percent of the federal workforce, they constituted over 42 percent of departures over the period 2008 to 2013. 

The report delves deeper into retirements, resignations, terminations, reductions in force, and all other forms of separation. It also discusses attrition rates: The Army and the National Labor Relations Board held the number one and number two spots among federal agencies, respectively, of worst attrition rates—around 8 percent each in FY 2013. 

Reader comments

Tue, Aug 26, 2014 Retirement Applicant California

With all the wage freezes, sequestrations, and shut-downs, no one wants to be a federal employee. I agree with the two replies on Aug 22, 2014.

Mon, Aug 25, 2014 los angeles, ca

Who cares? Feds who stayed, have now learned from top leadership; golf is more fun than to care. Who cares? USA is dead broke, there is no money for any care except Obamacare that benifits just 3.1% (10M). Who cares? management was warned about the loss of Fed corporate knowledge, they are still studying it. Who cares? The change you want is within; retire or resign now because nothing will happen, until at least 2018.

Mon, Aug 25, 2014 Bucky

Preview of coming attractions. Folks want small goverment they are going to get it along with small services.

Fri, Aug 22, 2014 retired Fed Employee Small town USA

What a surprise! When you cut benefits, increase employee deductions (costs) and constantly make Federal Employees out to be the bad guys does anyone really expect the employee to feel they are the heart and soul of the organization. If they are younger they will look for greener pastures. If they are retirement age... yeah! The old motto "do more with less" just doesn't play anymore. Who is going to be loyal to a Government agency (Congress) that doesn't care about them. Congress is getting their wish, Federal employees are leaving for better jobs and opportunities just like employees every other from company. US Government jobs are becoming just another job, not a career.

Fri, Aug 22, 2014

There should be no surprise here. With OMB and Departments implementing more and more insane costly, time consuming, complex and cumbersome business practices without increasing the capacity to meet those challenges coupled with what appears to be a well orchestrated attempt to demoralize federal employees it is no wonder employees are exiting. The federal work place is no longer desirable for many. Some are bidding their time waiting to retire, others are new to government and are just happy to be working while others, the skilled and seasoned employees, are leaving for better pay and better benefits as they are tired of being political pawns. From what I hear 2015 and 2016 will be banner years for a federal employee exodus. For those in Washington... you reap what you sow.

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Edward A. Zurndorfer Certified Financial Planner
Mike Causey Columnist
Tom Fox VP for Leadership and Innovation, Partnership for Public Service
Mathew B. Tully Legal Analyst

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