Veterans made up almost 30 percent of the federal workforce in fiscal 2012, with the proportion of new hires rising to the highest level in more than two decades, according to a report released Wednesday by the Office of Personnel Management.
From 2008 to 2012, the number of vets employed by executive branch agencies rose from about 481,000, or 25.5 percent, to almost 612,000, or 29.7 percent, the report said. The ranks of disabled vets rose particularly sharply during that five-year period, growing from about 113,000 to 201,000, the report showed. Of some 195,000 new hires in 2012, almost 29 percent were veterans, up slightly from the preceding year.
Acting OPM Director Elaine Kaplan credited President Obamaís 2009 creation of an interagency council focused on increasing the number of former service members in the federal workforce by bolstering recruiting and training.
Among major agencies, the Defense Department had the highest proportion of vets in 2012, with 45.8 percent of its employees having previous military service, according to figures in the report. The Health and Human Services Departmentís 6.6 percent share was the lowest.