DHS employs 1 in 12 Fed workers

"Department of Homeland Security ? The First Months"

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Only the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments have more civilian federal employees than the Homeland Security Department, according to a new analysis by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC).

Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the overall federal civilian workforce grew by 4.5 percent, TRAC said. The 69,266 employees hired for the new Transportation Security Administration, which is part of DHS, accounted for much of the increase. DHS employed 160,201 civilians in March when TRAC compiled the data.

Besides TSA, there also were increases at the old Immigration and Naturalization Service (now part of DHS and renamed the Directorate of Border and Transportation Security), which grew 7.1 percent; the Customs Service (also in Border and Transportation Security), which grew 4.4 percent; and the Secret Service and Coast Guard, which grew by less than 3 percent.

More than 80 percent of DHS employees work for Border and Transportation Security, the TRAC report said.

The nonprofit TRAC, which is affiliated with Syracuse University, reviewed DHS personnel records and found most of the department's employees work as "watchers," or investigators. DHS workers include airport screeners, border patrol guards, customs inspectors, criminal investigators, intelligence officers and the like.

In the overall federal government, 16 percent of civilian employees work in the Washington, D.C. area. For DHS, only 8.6 percent of the employees work in Washington, D.C. "Because DHS is still filling many of its headquarters slots, it seems likely that the contrast between the department and other agencies will diminish," the report said.

In its description of how DHS employees are distributed geographically around the nation, the report said there is a high concentration on the Mexican border, and not a single border patrol guard was stationed on the Alaska-Canada border.

TRAC reported average salaries for 213 job categories, from administrative law judge (with the top pay at an average $135,994) to physical science student trainees, with average annual earnings of $23,208, the lowest on the list.

Federal Civilian WorkforceDepartmentWorkersPercent of federal total
Defense654,99035.4
Veterans Affairs225,00012.1
Homeland Security160,2018.6
Treasury131,9247.1
Agriculture103,4645.6
Justice100,262 5.4
Interior73,838 4.0
Health and Human Resources 65,242 3.5
Transportation58,8193.2
Commerce37,5082.0
Labor 16,1340.9
Energy15,7820.9
Education4,6970.3
Housing and Urban Development10,6300.6
State22,4751.2
Large Independent Agencies158,4408.6
Small Independent Agencies1,577 0.1
TOTAL 1,852,782100.0

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