fedweek.com: federal workforce demographics age Image: ESB Professional/Shutterstock.com

Trump administration budget documents underscore a frequently raised concern about the relatively low numbers of federal employees compared with retirement-eligible employees, a gap that the documents show has widened significantly in recent years.

“The average age in the federal workforce is older than the nation’s broader working population [about 46 vs about 41]. About 28.8 percent (604,000) of federal employees are older than 55. At the other end of the spectrum, only 7.3 percent (154,000) are younger than 30, compared to 23 percent of private sector workers,” it says.


Those figures differ somewhat from other reports on the same topic but generally paint the same picture of an older workforce—about 15 percent of whom already are eligible to retire—and a shortage of younger employees.

It says that among the 24 CFO Act agencies—Cabinet departments and the largest independent agencies—the cohort in the workforce age 60 and up has grown from 9.4 to 13.8 percent since 2007 while the under-30 cohort has fallen from 7.6 to 6.2 percent.

Among IT workers, it adds, the change has been more significant, with the age 60 and over portion nearly doubling in that time to 14.2 percent while the under-30 portion fell from 4.1 to 2.7 percent.

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FERS Retirement Guide 2022