Newly reported data from OPM show that the federal workforce is continuing to grow more top-heavy in its age distribution, an issue that long has raised concerns that agencies do not have enough talent in the pipeline to take over as older employees inevitably retire.
Data through the end of fiscal 2017 show that only 6.1 percent of federal workers are under age 30, less than half of the 13.7 percent who are age 60 or over. The average age of the overall workforce is now 47.5.
That compares with 6.4 and 13.3 percent, respectively, in fiscal 2016 when the average age was 47.4. In fiscal 2007, the numbers were 7.6 and 9.4 percent, respectively with an average age of 47.0.
The 10-year age group with the largest number of employees is the 50s, now accounting for 31.4 percent of the workforce; in comparison, those in their 30s make up just 22.8 percent.
Separate figures from OPM show that 14.9 percent of federal workers already are eligible to retire under standard voluntary retirement rules. More would be eligible if offered early outs, although the OPM data do not show how many.