NAPA: IT workforce stable

The number of information technology workers moving in and out of government is almost equal, according to a National Academy of Public Administration report.

The net loss between the number of new hires and job conversions and the number of quits, retirements and other separations dropped from 1,405 to 235, according to the Recruitment and Retention Data Book completed March 30. The report profiles the federal workforce from fiscal 1996 to fiscal 2000.

However, the number of IT staff eligible for retirement will increase during the next four years by 158 percent from 6,168 to 15,899.

There's more to the data than meets the eye, said Myra Shiplett, director of NAPA's Center for Human Resources Management. "We believe there are several other things happening that really require closer scrutiny," she said. For instance, some agencies are finding that turnover among the few workers they are able to recruit is much higher. "They need to look at whether this is higher because this is a phenomenon associated with" Generation X and the younger, so-called Generation Y, or some other reason. NAPA plans to release a more in-depth analysis this summer, Shiplett said.

Other data book figures include:

Average, full-time, permanent employment of IT workers ranged from 58,797 in fiscal 1996 to 59,577 in fiscal 2000. The highest level of new hires were between the ages of 31 and 40, while the highest number of quits occurred with employees in their early 30s. About 27 percent of the quits took place when employees had served six to 10 years. An average of 41 percent of IT employees are between 41 and 50 years old.

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