FEDweek

Budget Projects Flat Overall Job Levels

The Trump administration’s budget proposal projects that federal employment in the fiscal year starting in October will be relatively flat compared with current year levels, although within that overall stability there would be a shift toward defense, homeland security and veterans services.

The budget presents federal employment in terms of “full-time equivalents,” in which two half-time workers for example count as one. By that measure, one chart projects an executive branch total (outside the self-funding USPS and the intelligence agencies) of 2,091,000 in 2018. That would be up by 4,000 from the estimated 2017 level, which itself is up by 30,000 from the 2016 actual. A separate chart with slightly different numbers shows a decrease of 1,000 over 2017-2018.

Within the total, the budget projects gains at: DoD of 9,400, 1.3 percent; DHS of 8,000, 4.4 percent; and VA of 7,800, 2.2 percent. Small gains are also projected at agencies including HHS and OPM.

The budget repeats the recommendation to shutter some two dozen mostly small agencies and components of larger agencies, as first mentioned in a preliminary version released in March.

The most significant percentage drop is projected at EPA, 24.3 percent from a loss of 3,800 jobs–slightly higher than the figure specified earlier–while the most significant numeric drops would be at Treasury, down 5,900 (6.3 percent)–mostly at the IRS–and Agriculture, down 4,600 (5.2 percent). Most other agencies would show losses of less than 1,000, although some of those are above 10 percent in percentage terms due to their small size.