Critical Read

Federal hiring at a glance

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What: "Fed Figures 2014: Federal Hiring" by the Partnership for Public Service.

Why: In recent years, budget showdowns have resulted in pay freezes for federal employees and a 16-day government shutdown. Hiring has also taken a hit, declining by 46.4 percent in the past four years.

Although the number of people leaving government was about the same in 2012 and 2013, the number of new employees decreased by more than 13,000 in 2013 compared with the year before. Of those hired, 63.4 percent were entry-level, 23.6 were mid-level and 12.4 percent were senior-level employees.

One exception to the decline has been the science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine fields, where hiring has increased by about 10 percentage points since 2009. Those areas accounted for 39.1 percent of new hires in 2013, of which 4.4 percent were in the IT workforce. The partnership said the STEMM numbers underscore the government's need for individuals with high levels of education and professional skills.

Most of the hiring in 2013 -- 79.8 percent -- was done by defense and security-related agencies. The Department of Veterans Affairs was the agency that hired the most employees -- 25,566 or 33 percent of total federal hiring.

The numbers also show that 24.2 percent of all new employees in 2013 were younger than 30, marking a downward trend in the hiring of younger workers. Overall, people under 30 make up 7.1 percent of the federal workforce.

The partnership recommended that the government develop a strategy to recruit and retain a greater percentage of younger workers to build a pipeline for the future.

Verbatim: "Ideally, hiring presents agency staff with the opportunity to meet its current and future needs, although this task is often challenging given the constraints imposed by the outdated civil service system. Providing a wider range of hiring flexibilities will help agencies secure the talent they need to meet the nation's growing and evolving challenges."

Full report: Click here.

About the Author

Colby Hochmuth is a staff writer covering big data, cloud computing and the federal workforce. Connect with her on Twitter: @ColbyAnn.

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