As the federal workforce shrinks, how are you coping?


The latest statistics on the federal workforce provide the strongest proof yet that government employment has peaked and is on its way down. USA Today reported that the federal workforce in April was down 11,600 employees from the same time last year.

This change shouldn’t come as much surprise — budgets are contracting, and many agencies have offered buyouts over the last year and a half to help deal with the tight fiscal environment. But Federal Times is wondering what this new reality means on the ground, for front-line workers who have to actually get the government’s work done.

Have you seen your office’s workforce contract over the last year or two? How has that affected you? Have you and your colleagues had to pick up duties that used to be done by departed workers? Are some duties that you’d like to get done falling between the cracks? Or have your supervisors decided to pull back and discontinue some missions?

We’d like to hear from you. E-mail me at if you’d like to talk. If you’d prefer to speak off the record, that’s fine.


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  1. The upside of reduced budgets is the opportunity to structure the orgnanization into one that is focused on a primary mission. To that end, the staff reductions at my facility have given me the opportunity to tell the management to “stuff it” regarding all the useless (that is a function not required by law, instruction or regulation) additional duties assigned to my engineers. Thanks to the cuts, they are fully and totally engaged (as am I) doing hard core engineering tasks.

    Now, more than ever, we are beginning to see just how much bloat and overhead exists. By focusing on our core mission, to the exclusion of a lot of “fluff” we can actually identify more areas to cut.

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