Agencies slammed hardest by job losses in 1996-1998 were the Department of Defense, down by 72,149 workers to 709,075; the Department of Veterans Affairs, down by 13,566 workers to 240,504; the Department of Agriculture, down by 4,783 workers to 107,689; the Department of Treasury, down by 4,310 workers to 141,965; the Department of Energy, down by 2,329 workers to 16,148; and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, down by 1,494 workers to 9,983. The largest increases by department were: Department of Justice, up by 11,694 workers to 122,580; Department of Commerce, up by 3,678 workers to 38,917; Department of Health and Human Services, up by 2,226 workers to 58,159; and, the Department of Interior, up by 2,071 workers to 72,993. Total employment for independent agencies declined by 10,164 workers to 183,457 as of September 30, 1998.