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By Judith Welles

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Workforce change

The Office of Personnel Management posted some interesting federal employment statistics this week. Some of this information is well-known, but seeing the stats brings home the reality of the government's workforce change.

The chart shows that the federal workforce is shrinking. Many employees are getting older and retiring. But there has also been a dramatic decrease in younger workers.

Between 1985 and 2006, the full-time permanent workforce shrank from 1.83 million to 1.63 million. During the same period, the average age of federal workers rose from 42 to 47.

The number of workers between 25 and 34 declined from 341,253 in 1985 to 184,329 by 2001. No explanation is given, but one can surmise that people left for other jobs, perhaps better-paying ones, while few followed behind to replace them.

There might be a little light at the end of this tunnel. With OPM's and other agencies' efforts to recruit and retain employees, the number of younger workers is starting to increase. This becomes apparent in 2002, and the chart shows the numbers. More incentives, such as flexible hours and flexible workplaces, will help. More appreciation of the role and impact of government service will help, too.

Posted by Judith Welles on Aug 01, 2007 at 12:13 PM


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