The NTEU union has said that the Trump administration’s order to reform the government and reduce the federal workforce risks worsening an imbalance in age in the federal workforce that already is a concern.
Restrictions on hiring as agencies try to pare their workforces–both due to budgetary pressures and the restructuring plans they have been told to produce–commonly are felt first at entry and other lower levels, typically filled by younger employees. Also, due to the way RIF rules work, younger employees commonly are hit hardest during downsizing.
“The portion of the IRS workforce that is retirement eligible is fast approaching 35 percent, according to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. Hiring freezes and budget cuts make it hard to replace them fast enough. Out of 77,000 employees, only 122 full-timers are under the age of 25. The IRS needs to be able to attract, hire and train the next generation of tax professionals,” the union said.
The Partnership for Public Service has cited the relative dearth of younger employees as a problem, saying the government is lacking the perspective of younger people and also is short on employees prepared to step up as older employees retire or as new needs arise.
According to OPM, out of a 2.1 million executive branch workforce not counting the Postal Service or intelligence agencies, 153,000 were under age 30 while 293,000 were age 60 or older, as of the end of calendar year 2016.