Issue Briefs

OPM has released its annual report on federal workforce demographics, once again showing that Hispanics are the only minority group under-represented in federal employment in comparison with their share of the overall workforce, 8 percent vs. 13.6 percent. Women are also slightly under-represented, 43.6 to 46 percent. Following are highlights of the report.

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The Federal workforce is 17.8 percent Black, 8.1 percent Hispanic, 5.6 percent Asian/Pacific Islander, 1.7 percent Native American, 0.8 percent non-Hispanic/Multi-racial, and 66.0 percent White. Minorities as a whole constituted 34.1 percent of the Federal workforce. Men comprised 56.1 percent of all Federal permanent employees and women 43.9 percent.

The Report shows the representation of women and minorities in professional and administrative positions has increased. The representation rate of minorities in these positions rose by 7.4 percent (from 332,934 to 357,468). The number of women represented in professional and administrative positions increased by 5.1 percent (from 505,111 to 531,062).

The Federal government still faces challenges with regard to the full employment of Hispanics as they constitute 8.1 percent of the FW while comprising 13.6 of the Civilian Labor Force.

OPM Initiatives

On August 19, 2011, President Barack Obama signed and issued Executive Order 13583, Establishing a Coordinated Government-Wide Initiative to Promote Diversity and Inclusion in the Federal Workforce, in order to promote the Federal workplace as a model of equality, diversity, and inclusion. This effort will focus on creating a diverse FW that looks like America and on encouraging collaboration, flexibility, and fairness to enable all Federal employees to participate to their full potential. On November 17, 2011, OPM issued the Government-Wide Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan, which identified three goals for implementation by agencies. Those goals are workforce diversity, workplace inclusion and sustainability. Agency-Specific Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plans were submitted by the agencies to OPM on March 16, 2012, and initial review reflects that agencies are using thoughtful and innovative practices to create workplaces that work for everyone and foster innovation to succeed in meeting present and future challenges.

On December 31, 2011, OPM renewed the Hispanic Council on Federal Employment (Council) to advise the Director of OPM on the recruitment, hiring, retention, and advancement of Hispanics in the Federal workplace. This body brings together leaders from the Hispanic community, Human Resources, Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO), and Diversity and Inclusion. The Council has developed and will monitor implementation of concrete strategies to better engage the Hispanic community and create a more inclusive atmosphere to retain and develop Hispanic Federal employees once they are onboard.

In addition, OPM is committed to assisting agencies in implementing Executive Order 13548, Increasing Federal Employment of Individuals with Disabilities. The goal under Executive Order 13548 is to hire 100,000 people with disabilities in all job series and at all grade levels within 5 years in order to enable the Federal Government to tap into this rich source of diverse talent. In FY 2011, agencies submitted their Disability Action Plans to OPM and have begun implementation of those plans. Initial data indicates an increase in the hiring of people with disabilities in FY 2011 of 7.26 percent compared to 6.24 percent FY 2010 and 5.6 percent in FY 2009.

The Federal Government has also had difficulty competing with other sectors in recruiting and hiring students and recent graduates. To address these difficulties, President Obama signed Executive Order 13562, Recruiting and Hiring Students and Recent Graduates, on December 27, 2010. This executive order establishes the Pathways Programs, consisting of three excepted-service programs tailored to recruit, hire, develop, and retain students and recent graduates. Under this program, OPM is conducting outreach to, among others, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, Tribal Colleges and Universities, and Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions.

On November 9, 2009, President Obama signed Executive Order 13518, Employment of Veterans in the Federal Government, which established the Veterans Employment Initiative. The Initiative is a strategic, yet very straightforward, approach to helping the men and women who have served our country in the military find employment in the Federal Government. OPM leads the effort to ensure agencies align the talents of these individuals with key positions so the Government is better positioned to meet mission objectives and citizens are better served. Through the creation of the Governmentwide Veterans Recruitment and Employment Strategic Plan for FY 2010–FY 2012, OPM is helping agencies to meet the overarching goal to increase the percentage of Veterans hired in the Federal Executive Branch.

These combined efforts are designed to provide agencies with the foundation and support they need to advance the Federal Government’s goals – to recruit, hire, retain, and develop the best candidates for Federal service. OPM will continue to work with agencies to ensure they have the tools required to succeed in meeting the challenges of the 21st Century.

Major findings in the FY 2010 FEORP Report are:

The number of minorities in the FW increased by 2.4 percent from 647,588 in FY 2010 to 662,991 in FY 2011. The FW is 17.8 percent Black, 8.1 percent Hispanic, 5.6 percent Asian/Pacific Islander (remain the same), 1.7 percent American Indian/Alaska Native, 0.8 percent non-Hispanic/Multi-racial, and 65.9 percent White. Minorities as a whole constituted 34.1 percent of the FW.

Women comprised 43.6 percent of all Federal permanent employees, and Men comprised 56.4 percent. The overall employment of women in the FW experienced a 0.3 percentage point decline from 2010 to 2011.

Black or African American employees represented 17.8 percent (345,679) of the permanent FW as of September 30, 2011, compared to 10.1 percent in the CLF. The FW and CLF percentages in FY 2010 were 17.7 and 10, respectively.

Hispanic employees represented 8.1 percent (157,648) of the permanent FW as of September 30, 2011, compared to 13.6 percent of the CLF. The FW and CLF percentages in FY 2010 were 8.0 and 13.6 percent, respectively.

Hispanic employment in professional occupations increased by 764 to 24,907 in FY 2011 from 24,143 in FY 2010. Hispanics represented 5.1 percent of all Federal employees in this occupational category in 2011, the same as in 2010.

Asian/Pacific Islander employees represented 5.6 percent (109,871) of the permanent FWas of September 30, 2011, compared to 4.4 percent in the CLF. The FW and CLF percentages in FY 2010 were 5.6 and 4.3 percent, respectively.

Native American employment represented 1.7 percent (33,761) of the permanent FWas of September 30, 2011, compared to 0.7 percent of the CLF. The FW and CLF percentages in 2010 were 1.8 and 0.6 percent, respectively.

Representation of Black or African American men and women increased from 17.7 percent to 17.8 percent, Hispanic men and women increased from 8.0 percent to 8.1 percent, Asian American/Pacific Islander men and women