Tags: retirement | federal | workers | work force

CNNMoney: Retirements Could Trim Federal Work Force

By    |   Friday, 14 June 2013 09:17 AM

The United States could soon face a shortage of federal workers because a wave of retirement may be coming in the next three years. In fact, approximately about 30 percent of government employees will be eligible to retire.

The retirements could compound a worker squeeze because government belt-tightening measures are already in effect, namely furloughs and hiring freezes, according to CNNMoney.

"We're seeing this massive brain drain as thousands of workers leave the federal work force, and it's leading to a huge loss of knowledge and expertise," said William Dougan, president of the National Federation of Federal Employees, a union group. "A lot of these jobs are not being filled once they're vacated."

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CNNMoney used data from the General Accounting Office to illustrate a potential shortfall. About 46 percent of air traffic controllers can retire in the next three years, and more than a third of all federal veterinarians and Internal Revenue Service workers will also be eligible.

Through April, about 60,000 employees filed for federal retirement this year, a 43 percent increase from the same period in 2012, according to the Office of Personnel Management.

According to the unions, the increase in retirements is being fed by $85 billion in government spending cuts.

Michael Gilsdorf, executive vice president for the National Association of Federal Veterinarians, said the labor crunch could present risk for the nation's food supply later this year.

"Our capacity to respond to a disease outbreak has hit a critical stage," Gilsdorf told CNNMoney.

Federal cutbacks have trimmed the number of "deployable" veterinarians from about 1,000 to about 250 in the past year. But CNNMoney reported the U.S. Department of Agriculture has responded by recruiting 955 veterinarians and 3,100 animal health technicians to be volunteer emergency responders.

The total federal work force dipped by 14,000 employees in May, reducing the government's staffing levels to its lowest level in more than five years, the Federal Times reported.

There are now 2.748 million federal employees in the government, the least since February 2008, when there were 2.747 million federal workers.

The Times said the U.S. government's work force has now declined 20 percent since its peak in May 2010, when there were 3.415 million employees.

Shrinking the federal work force is an important component of the plan by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., the House budget chief, to reduce the government's deep operating deficits. Ryan has proposed trimming the federal work force by 10 percent through a two-year hiring freeze.

Editor's Note: The Final Turning Predicted for America. See Proof.

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The United States could soon face a shortage of federal workers because a wave of retirement may be coming in the next three years. In fact, approximately about 30 percent of government employees will be eligible to retire.
retirement,federal,workers,work force
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2013-17-14
Friday, 14 June 2013 09:17 AM
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