Issue Briefs

Following are highlights from a new OPM report on the changes over 2010-2018 among non-seasonal, full-time, permanent federal employees, what commonly is called the core federal workforce.


Over this period, the workforce has increased from 1,831,719 to 1,872,141, or 2.2 percent. The largest increases were in the Department of Veteran Affairs (31.4 percent), followed by the Department of Health and Human Services (10.2 percent). In contrast, the Department of Treasury (-23.9 percent) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (-22.0 percent) experienced the largest decreases in employees.

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The three states with the largest increases in employment were Vermont (from 3,946 to 4,895), Nevada (from 10,056 to 12,369), and Rhode Island (from 6,068 to 7,016). The three states with the largest decreases in employment were New Jersey (from 28,638 to 24,658), Alaska (from 11,493 to 10,327), and New Mexico (from 23,414 to 21,842). As of FY 2018, California had the largest number of federal employees with a total of 152,857 employees, while Delaware had the fewest employees with 2,948.

Between FY 2010 and FY 2018, employment within the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV CBSA declined by 1.46 percent.

Average salary increased from $76,586 to $86,051, or 12.4 percent. As of FY 2018, the Department of Energy had the largest average salary at $119,213; followed by the Department of Education at $118,860. From FY 2010 through FY 2018, the Department of Treasury experienced the largest increase in average salary with an increase of 17.9 percent.

Between FY 2010 and FY 2018, the number of males increased from 1,040,594 to 1,072,698, or 3.1 percent. Likewise, the number of females increased from 791,124 to 798,766, or 1.0 percent. Over this period, the ratio of males to females remained roughly unchanged at 4 to 3. As of FY 2018, the average salary for female employees was $83,178. Furthermore, 25.0 percent earned $53,990 or less, 50.0 percent earned $78,762 or less, and 75.0 percent earned $105,769 or less. In contrast, the average salary for male employees was $88,206; 25.0 percent earned $59,557 or less, 50.0 percent earned $83,159 or less, and 75.0 percent earned $110,706 or less.

As of FY 2018, approximately 53 percent of the employees possessed at least a bachelor’s degree. The number of employees possessing a doctorate degree increased by 40.3 percent, followed by a 36.9 percent increase in employees possessing a master’s degree. Employees holding degrees below a bachelor’s degree have significantly declined over the same time period.

As of FY 2018, the three racial categories with the largest number of employees were White, Black / African American, and Hispanic / Latino. These three categories represent approximately 90.0 percent of the NSFTP workforce.

From FY 2010 through FY 2018, the three ethnicity and race categories with the largest increases were More Than One Race (147.4 percent), followed by Native Hawaiian / Pacific Islander (50.9 percent), and Asian (19.0 percent). In contrast, racial categories White and American Indian / Alaskan Native decreased 3.5 and 9.1 percent, respectively.

The average age of federal employees has increased by one year, from 47 years of age in FY 2010 to 48 years of age in FY 2018.

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The full report, including charges and graphics, is here:
https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/data-analysis-documentation/federal-employment-reports/reports-publications/federal-executive-branch-characteristics-2010-2018.pdf)


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