Number of Federal Employees Drops to 47-Year Low

Thursday, October 24, 2013
(photo: Office of Personnel Management)

The federal bureaucracy is not the ever-expanding blob that conservatives warn so much about, not according to the latest employee numbers out of Washington.


As of September, and before the government shutdown, federal offices employed 2,723,000 individuals—the lowest figure on record since 1966, when there were 2,721,000 employees.


Now, critics might try to pooh-pooh this fact by pointing out the total does not include the number of military personnel in the armed forces.


But if those figures were factored in too, the current size of the federal workforce would still be the lowest in 47 years, because back in 1966, the Vietnam War was going strong. The country then had 2.6 million people in uniform, compared to 1.4 million now.


Another way to view the current numbers is this: federal employment constitutes 2% of the nation’s labor force. Back in 1966, Washington employed 4.3% of all working Americans.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Bloated Government? Federal Employment at 47-Year Low (by Floyd Norris, New York Times)

Huge Wave of Retiring Federal Workers is Double-Edged Sword for U.S. Agencies (by Noel Brinkerhoff and Danny Biederman, AllGov)


JGWOOD 10 years ago
Those "employees" that you reference in the military in 1966 really didn't want to be employees. 90% of them were DRAFTED.
BillyBOB 10 years ago
This is the biggest lie I have seen on the internet. You better go look again at what the government has posted on their sites.

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