As many agencies face the prospect of job cuts due to budget and reorganization plans, OPM has issued a statistical report showing that in the most recent round of cutbacks, temporary, seasonal and part-time employees bore the burden far out of proportion to their share of the overall federal workforce.
The 2013 “sequestration” budgetary belt-tightening triggered a much steeper drop in those positions, both numerically and percentage-wise, than in the types of jobs traditionally considered the core of the federal workforce: non-seasonal, full-time permanent positions, so-called NSFTP employees.
The OPM figures show that at the end of fiscal 2012 in September of that year, the NSFTP workforce stood at 1,850,000 while other there were 260,000 employees in the other categories combined (both totals exclude the Postal Service and most intelligence agencies). By the end of fiscal 2013, the NSFTP workforce had dropped by only 18,000, 1 percent, while other positions fell by 24,000, 9.4 percent.
The following year, with the prospects of further cuts hanging over the federal workplace, the NSFTP workforce fell by another 0.33 percent while the other positions dropped another 6.6 percent.
In the years since, the NSFTP workforce has recovered its losses and as of the end of fiscal 2016 stood at a 10-year high of 1,867,000. The number of other positions has rebounded by about 10,000 from its 10-year low of 220,000 in 2014.