A U.S. Postal Service clerk helps a customer at the Los Feliz Post Office in Los Angeles. The headcount of the Post Office and the federal workforce declined last year. (Getty Images)
The federal workforce shrank 3 percent during last year, according to federal data.
The ranks of federal employees dipped by about 67,700 in the last 12 months from roughly 2.2 million, preliminary Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers show. That doesn’t include the U.S. Postal Service, whose headcount dropped from 609,000 to 590,000 during the same period.
The Postal Service, which receives no taxpayer money for operating expenses, has aggressively used early out programs to trim its workforce, while budget pressures have left other agencies unable to replace many employees who retire or leave for other reasons.
Last year, agencies made about 89,700 full-time permanent new hires, the lowest number since 2005, according to a Partnership for Public Service analysis. Last year’s hiring total fell well short of making up for the approximately 115,300 employees who left the government in 2012, the analysis showed.
In 2010, by contrast, agencies made almost 138,800 new hires, while some 91,700 federal employees left during that time.