Federal Workforce Shows Under 1% Growth


President Joe Biden | Image by BiksuTong

Recent reports show modest returns on one of President Joe Biden’s key campaign promises, to restore the federal workforce.

More than halfway into his term, information from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) indicates that Biden has grown the permanent federal workforce by 0.9%, as reported by the Washington, D.C.-based publication Government Executive.

Biden’s immediate predecessor, Donald Trump, increased the federal workforce by 2% during his term as president. These numbers may not be entirely indicative of the overall outcome, however, since gains in the departments of Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs, and Defense compensated for downsizing in nearly every other agency, according to Government Executive.

Biden’s management agenda in 2021 included “strengthening the federal workforce” as one of its main pillars. Following the announcement of this pillar, the administration set goals to attract workers to what it considers mission-critical jobs.

OPM has worked to recruit tech talent amid layoffs by some major companies. In January, OPM put together a hiring event for 50 federal, state, and local agencies, which was attended by 1,800 potential applicants, per Government Executive. 

OPM is also continuing a Trump administration initiative that makes federal qualification assessment more reliant on skills rather than degrees. Additionally, the office has promoted remote work and used it as a recruiting tool.

“There’s a mix of what we can do collectively, there’s a bit around the planning piece of it, and I think more than anything that’s kind of inherent in this, since we’ve had such leadership attention on this effort [to implement the infrastructure law], I think everyone’s been involved,” Veronica Hinton, OPM’s principal deputy associate director for employee services, told Government Executive.

“Normally, when you think about hiring, it’s kind of in one segment of the agency, but if you want to be able to deliver on the things that are important to the American people that we’ve been asked to do, it really requires kind of a wholesale effort within an agency,” Hinton added.

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Daniel Jonathon Peters
Daniel Jonathon Peters
22 days ago

notice how the federal budget goes up every year? they can never find any efficiencies.

20 days ago

Restore it? They need to cut it massively. The federal Workforce outside of the armed services could be cut by 40% and nobody would even know that they are gone.