DHS has gained about 14,000 employees in the past two years to about 205,000, while the EPA and SSA each dropped about 2,000 to about 14,500 and 62,500, respectively. Image: Mark Van Scyoc/Shutterstock.com

Overall numbers of federal employees and the numbers of those who left the government remained stable in the most recently released OPM data. The numbers are through fiscal 2018, which ended in September of that year; in recent years, OPM’s releases of employment data have not been as current as they were previously.

The number of executive branch employees outside the Postal Service stood at 2,100,802, compared with 2,087,747 in September 2017 and 2,097,038 in September 2016.


However, a shift in jobs continued that over two years for example saw DHS gaining about 14,000 employees to about 205,000 while the EPA and SSA each dropped about 2,000 to about 14,500 and 62,500, respectively.

The numbers are headcounts, and include part-time, seasonal and temporary employees. Excluding those categories, the “core” federal workforce of full-time, permanent, non-seasonal employees is just under 1.9 million.

The total number of separations in fiscal 2018 was 208,771, up by about 7,000 from both 2016 and 2017 but about average over a 10-year period when they ranged from about 201,000 to about 222,000. The reasons for separations also remained about the same:

* 80,259 quits (about 1,000 and 3,500, respectively, above 2017 and 2016)
* 66,781 retirements (about 4,000 and 2,000 above) of which about 61,000 were standard voluntary immediate retirements, about the same share as in prior years, with the rest early-outs, disability and other forms of retirement
* 11,886 removals for conduct or performance issues (about 700 and 1,000 above)
* 46,392 expirations of temporary positions (about 1,000 above 2017 and virtually the same as 2016)
* 281 separations by RIF (vs. 136 in 2017 and 209 in 2016)

Deaths and other forms of separation made up the rest of the separations.

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